Thursday, April 16, 2020

Painting the Almond Blossoms

I had the opportunity to paint way out in the countryside at a friend's house east of Modesto. CA.  The California Central Valley is the home of thousands of acres of farms and especially almonds.  Each spring the valley is white with trees all in bloom.  It almost looks like snow and when the blooms fade and start to fall, it looks like it is snowing!  It is not great for people with allergies, but it sure is beautiful!
 My friend's house is at the top of a hill overlooking the valley for miles.  You can see the Sierra Mountains and the foothills before them.  Layers and layers of hills and valleys all covered in neat rows of blooming almond orchards!  It is an amazing scene.  I was attracted to this view because of the road that zig zagged back into the distance.  

My friend and I set up our easels and painted the scene for several hours.  When I got home my painting surprised me!  The colors seemed so very washed out, which often happens when plein air painting.  I have a show coming up where we take a painting we did in plein air and enlarge it in our studio.  So I thought this scene would work for me.  So enjoy watching my process below.  

Painting on location

Working out the composition

Adding color washes to the canvas to cover the white canvas

Working on the road & back orchards
Adding under painting color to the right orchards

Refining the trees

Adding the blossoms

Testing the finished painting in its frame.

"Acres and Acres of Blooming Almond Orchards"
15" x 30"  oils  $2400


Tuesday, February 25, 2020


Scrub Jay  8" x 8"  acrylics
I have watched and admired birds for as long as I can remember.  When I was in high school I had to stay at home after a minor foot surgery.  We had a pair of binoculars and I noticed something out the window.  It was a scrub jay!  I was blown away by his beauty and antics.  Now that I am hearing about the loss of so many birds around the world I am so saddened.  So I decided to paint a series of paintings of my favorite birds. 
I have been exploring gelli plate printing and mono printing lately, so decided to see if I could combine my love of birds with the fun of this kind of printing.  This is an 8" x 8" cradled wood panel which I had a lot of fun pouncing acrylic paint colors with sponges, stamps and foam stamps which I made myself.  I then painted this Scrub Jay and traced around the leaves.  I then painted the negative space around the leaves with white acrylic paint. It seemed too plain so I filled in the bottom spaces with stripes and dots here and there.  I am pleased with the way it turned out.  Available on my Daily Paintworks Website  $150 + shipping & tax

California Quail    acrylics   8" x 8" cradled panel
When I was in high school, we lived in the country.  I used to watch the quail wander around our two acres.  They would chatter and scamper through the redwood trees.  There was always a male on guard bobbing his head with that black feather on top, watching for danger.  I miss seeing them.  I painted this quail on top of a stencil design sponged on the background in acrylics.  Available on my website $150 + shipping & tax
side view of the Quail painting

Come back again to see more in MY FAVORITE BIRDS SERIES or visit my website at:

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Notice: Only the artist has the right to reproduce her original work.  Please do not copy without permission.  Copyright protected. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Monterey, Beauty Above and Below

The beauty of Monterey California is difficult to compare to anywhere else in the world.  I love going there and watching the waves, birds, sea life and people enjoying the scenery.  When I was invited to participate in a show at the Monterey Conference Center with 8 other members of the Central Coast Art Association, I began to think about what I could do to show all the beauty around me.  Below is the painting I came up with.  

 I love exploring the Monterey Bay Aquarium so I just had to add some of those images to my painting.  So you see a window with things below and above the water around the edges.  It was a fun challenge to do this painting.

This painting will be on display along with two more of my paintings at the
Monterey Conference Center Alvarado Art Gallery
(at the top of the escalators)
 September to the end of November 2019.  

Artwork copyright protected.  No reproductions, or copying allowed!

California Foothill Painting Series

Lately I have been working on a series of paintings of the California foothills in the Gold Rush country.  I want to show some of these paintings at a solo show at Hovey Winery Tasting Room in Murphys, CA, a sweet Gold Rush Town.  I have been working from photos I took many years ago and am enjoying revisiting them.  Below is my first one in the series.

Warm Summer Day in the Foothills  9" x 12"  oils
I really like the composition on this piece.  The sunlight was hitting the tall, golden grasses which cover the California foothills in the summer.  

The second painting was worked on a dark gray gessoed panel.  Below you can see my progress.  I have been doing some small, practice paintings on old gessoed postcards.  They are about the same size as the photograph, 4" x 6".  From those I have been working on the larger painting.  
Photo below - practice painting above

Working on a 9"x12" stretched canvas which has been prepared with a dark, gray gesso.  Laying in the highlights first!  This is new for me and I learned the technique in a workshop with Peter Adams recently.  A different way to start a landscape.
Here you can see that I have begun to block in the trees, shadows and sky.

Liking it and since I was tired, I went to bed. But in the morning, I looked at it with fresh eyes.  It seemed much too yellow and light.  It lacked the warmth I wanted showing the late sunset glow.  So I added more warm colors to give it that glow!
I am much happier with this one!  "The Long Road Home"  9 x 12

These paintings and more will be available for sale
at Hovey Winery Tasting Room, Murphys, CA
 in October / November 2019.

All artwork copyright protected.  No copying!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Red-Eared Slider Turtles

I stopped at Casa de Fruta on my way to Monterey (CA) a few weeks ago and decided to check out the pond and take photos of the ducks.  Low and behold there were NO ducks anywhere!  But the rocks along the edges of the pond were filled with turtles basking in the sun on the rocks!  Boy did I have fun taking their pictures!  Naturally, I just had to try my hand at creating some art too.  So I got out my Pan Pastels and started in.  I discovered they were actually pretty difficult to capture their many details and especially the stripes!  But here they are all framed up and in the Tracy Grand Theatre Artists Co-op gallery.  Watch the video at the bottom of this blog!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Plein Air Painting in a Classic Rose Garden

I was so fortunate to have been chosen to be one of the artists who got to paint in the garden of one of the homes on the Carnegie Art Center's Designer Home and Garden Showcase on May 11th, 2019.  The grounds around the house were so beautiful and they had a formal, classic rose garden which attracted my attention.  
You can watch the video I took while I was painting in the garden.
I was sort of nervous when I did this video from my iPhone, so have patience! 
This painting is now on Daily Paintworks and will be up for bidding in an auction starting May 23rd.

Painting in progress

Monday, April 1, 2019

Farmer's Market Bouquet with Panpastel

 I bought these lovely flowers at a farmer's market and was amazed how fresh they stayed as I was painting them with my new set of Panpastels.

I worked on a pale blue sanded pastel paper and loved the way the pastel looked on it.

Watch the video to see how I worked this.  This is my first video, so please bear with me on this.  I hope to get better doing this technical stuff.  

First stages of working this painting.

Adding the background,
but I did not like the color and changed it later

Final finished piece.  12" x 9" framed with mat under glass. 

I will be bringing this new piece framed to the Stanislaus County Artists Open Studio Tour, April 6/7th, 2019 in Modesto, CA.  We are at #23 on the map.  

$350 framed  Message me if you wish to add this pastel painting to your collection of fine art.