Plein Air with Acrylics


 $35.00 USD (8x8in canvas panel)

This is from Friday’s art lesson.  Man, have we been having some great weather here the past two weeks!  My student friend has been wanting to try plein air painting so I thought we would take advantage of the nice weather and lack of wind.  When she arrived we took a stroll around the house (we had to stay within baby monitor range per nap time) and decided the alley was the most inspiring.  So we set up camp.  My friend wished we had a name for what it is we were doing – since plein air is primarily an oil painting thing – and we were loading our palettes in the dirt, balancing easels on rocks, spraying our acrylic paint every 2 minutes….didn’t feel like how the professionals do it.  But that’s what I appreciate about the way I paint sometimes, and I want everyone to know they can too.

Here are some shots from the day:

easels on the front porch

getting paint.

some composition checking sketches.

If you have any suggestions on what we could call our technique of “plein air” painting let me know!

Old Friend


SOLD (8x8in canvas panel)

This is one of my favorite pictures from this summer.  While visiting family we spent a morning at Como Zoo in Minneapolis and had the best time!  I have sketched this picture in my sketch book and loved it so I thought I’d try painting it.  My husband asked if I should make the turtle look like a statue (which it was) or a real turtle.  I thought the viewer should decide.

Familiar Fort Collins Scene


 $35.00 USD (8x8in canvas panel)

I’ve had too many hobbies going on these past couple days, but did manage to paint yesterday – and hopefully today and tomorrow.  This is a sight in north Old Town.  My husband and I drove past it after our date for Valentine’s day and I had him stop so I could take a few pictures.  I’m going to try it again, I feel like I want it to look a certain way.

Here’s what I’ve been staying busy in the home with:


crocheting things I find in stores.


re-upholstering an old chair.

Cast Iron Collection


SOLD (8x8in canvas panel)

I painted these suckers 3 times before getting a good composition.  In my art lesson with a friend yesterday we scattered throughout the house to find sweet little spots to paint a good scene – and I ended up in the kitchen with my lovely green walls.  This scene has been attempted before, but never completed, and I couldn’t stop thinking about them today> so I tried again.  I just loved the colors and the shapes.

> My friend landed in the dining room painting the shadows the high chair casted on the walls.  So cool, might have to do that next.

Again, But Bigger!


SOLD (16x20in on stretched canvas)

The first ship was so popular I had a friend request another one, but larger.  So here it is – the same ship but 16x20in.

Slowly making my way to working larger again.  I technically still have one more 36x48in abstract to do for my husband’s office.  Sheesh.

Pre-Packaged Snacks


 $50.00 USD (11.5×11.5in on repurposed stretched canvas)

I just felt like painting bananas today.

I appreciate all the fruits you have to peel before eating, because having a kiddo now- we’re dropping things all the time!  Yesterday I dropped a clementine in the parking lot, picked it up and peeled it and handed it to Fi.  Yesssss.

Now off to wash some dishes.

Boats Boats Boats


SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

I asked my husband what to call this painting, and this is what he suggested.  A How I Met Your Mother reference.

Anyways, for art lesson today we let our brains relax from learning new things and picked a picture and just painted.  It was really nice and I was super excited about this photo – I love painting the blue-green shadows under boats, such yummy colors.  The contrast between the bright boats and the dark water was really fun to play with too.  Good painting day.

Honey Bees


SOLD (9.5inx14.5in on repurposed stretched canvas)

Once again I was inspired by my daughter’s library books.  I love painting bees in flight, the brush strokes are so fun and free I barely have to think about them.

Sugar, Yes Please.


 $35.00 USD (8x8in on canvas panel)

I had this sugar bowl out since my lesson last Saturday with L so I could try another go at it.  Here’s my first time painting it 2 and a half years ago!

Sheesh, I should hope it looks different.  I really love painting the little glass ball on top of the lid.

I think I’ll keep it out and do it again soon, I wasn’t really feeling it in the studio today but have this feeling inside of how I want it to look and didn’t quite achieve it today.  ::sigh:: Next time….

Practicing White Again


 $35.00 USD (8x8in on canvas panel)

For the lesson with L today we played with values and painting white things.  She followed the “rules” much better in terms of staying neutral and comparing values – I skewed into too many colors.  But how can you be mad > look how pretty!

L has committed to painting every day in between our lessons.  I can’t wait to see what she paints and how quickly she’ll progress!

In Your Furry Face


SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

I wanted to make sure the first cow face wasn’t a fluke, but that I could do it again.  And I think I did!  This cow looked so soft and hairy I looked forward to painting these details.  Though, I chose to leave the flies out.  Good idea.  Both cows, my favorite thing to paint was the snout>  it was the most fun / easiest part to chunk up and paint loosely.


You Could Do This


Working on a larger piece today as a request.  Eeek!  I’ve been really enjoying the quick, little ones lately, and learning so much.  But I don’t like the request list to pile up so time to attack this week.  Today I just threw on color.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll sketch in the details.

Here’s the step by step so you can feel like you can pull out your supplies and get painting!

You could do this right!?

I do the flower petals some what messy because I can come back with the background color and ‘reshape’ them.

Also, I did this opposite of how I usually would.  Typically I start with the subjects so I can apply the ‘reshape’ technique to everything, but the flowers and darkness under the chickens were calling to me…and I just went.

I loved all the colors I was seeing in this front chicken.  When you make each color as you go and paint wet-on-wet you get this harmonious color blending goodness.

And I couldn’t leave them with big open spaces over their heads and faces, so I pulled out the red right at the end, just so when I approach it later I can really focus on the details.

This al happened in an hour, with one brush a little wider than an inch.


Happy painting.

Cow Face


SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

Someone had mentioned that they’re watching to see if I ever paint cows, and that got me thinking.  It took a few searches to find a face I liked in a pleasing composition, but alas!  Here is my go at a cow face.  I tend to emphasize all the colors; it would be a fun experiment to paint the same picture muted and then again extremely enhanced with color!  Phooey, I should have done that today.  ::sigh::

Here is a half way through shot:

I start with the darkest, to kind of map out the painting.  Then I really try to remember to squint and see the different values in the mid tones.

Color Theory Practice


 $35.00 USD (8x8in on canvas panel)

The art lesson went great!  I’ve decided I like teaching and practicing value learning myself without having to use a grey scale.  Look how fantastic and fun these are!  This is my adaptation of the 10 Minute Challenge from Daily Paintworks > here we learned to study values, paint boldly and loosely, and had a chance to try out mixing colors in different split-complimentary color schemes.  That’s 3 lessons in 1 my friends.  I love good teaching days.

Here’s L’s:

Which color combo is your favorite?


Polar Bear No.2


SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

I’m sticking with the zoo animals lately, but craving fruit after this…  I was drawn in by the severe contrast in this photo from Morguefile, and I feel like the bear is almost glowing because of it.

Here are some progress shots:

I rescheduled my 14 year old art lesson for today instead of yesterday so I had some time to play with the “lesson plan” I have for her – and I’m glad I did.  We both need value practice, and she wants to study the science of the color wheel and the different color combinations that are appealing to the eye.  So today we’re going to do 10 minute sketches, using split complimentary color schemes to practice teaching our eyes to see value.  That’s a lot in one lesson, but I’m hoping it will spark some inspiration in her art this week.  Here’s what I whipped out yesterday as an example.  Though this was more like 20 mins.

 $35.00 USD (8x8in on canvas panel)

I used purple as the main color, and yellow green and yellow orange as the splits.  Mixing each of the splits with the purple made these yummy olive and golden brown colors.  I’ve never played with this idea before so I’m excited to try it with other colors.

Colorful Flamboyance


SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

I’ve done a few flamingo paintings and have learned that a group of flamingos is called a “flamboyance.”  I love that.  My daughter’s naps seem to be getting shorter and shorter these days ::sigh:: so I prayed for the chance to both take a nap and whip out a painting during nap time yesterday and Jesus delivered.  The colors were so fun to make as well, a bit different from the flamingo colors yesterday.


Flamingo Shapes


SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

Finally redeemed after my bad painting day.  My 10 year old art student friend came over yesterday and we decided we needed a happy, easy painting day.  Animals come easiest for us, and we were both craving flamingos.  This group of analogous colors are my favorite; the reds-oranges-purples.  Yum.  It was easy and fun and just what we needed.  Good ‘ol flamingos.

Guarding The Bikes


SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

Ugh.  Today was a frustrating painting day.  I hate those.  I have to tell myself that it’s all part of training my eye, but it sure puts me in a bad mood the rest of the day.

I thought this dog looks so sweet sitting by the bikes waiting for his owner to come back.

Here’s a sketch just to loosen myself up.

San Diego Ship


SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

My mom is in San Diego currently and sent us siblings these awesome photos she took of this ship in a harbor there.  I was a bit intimidated to take it on, but was also so struck by her photos!  Doing these small paintings help get rid of that fear to even start because if it doesn’t work I can chalk it up to practice and what did I really lose?  In this case I think it really worked!  Also, so much fun.  I love painting all those little negative spaces in the wires everywhere.

Thanks Mom.

Floating Fish


SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

Did this for the Fish Challenge on DailyPaintworks, in half an hour!  Baby’s nap was coming to an end and I knew I had to paint fast.

I’ve been doing some research about the science of the color wheel in preparation for an art student I picked up; I was so inspired by the split complimentary combo of colors!  I’m looking forward to playing with that idea and teaching her all about it.

Enjoy these bright colors on this dreary winter day.

Hippo Spotting


SOLD (8x8in on canvas panel)

Guys.  It took me three paintings till I finally painted something I liked!  Talk about being rusty.  Sheesh.

I am really digging this painting.  In the photo reference the water was a lot more choppy, buy I calmed it down a little to show off those yummy greens.  I love the shapes in hippos so much lately and might try to do this guy again on a larger canvas.

My slightly-younger-art student (14 but feels like talking to a 25 year old) wants to learn more about the science of the color wheel > so I did some research because I need to learn more about it myself.  For this week for us I found a fun challenge on the DailyPaintworks website challenging us to use the Split Complimentary color scheme, look forward to seeing those this week!

Neutral Practice


SOLD (8x10in on stretched canvas)

I started lessons with a new friend.  We’ve painted together before, but this is more instruction than we usually do – feels different.  Today was just a warm-up-get-back-into-practice-day, so we stayed small and chatted through the whole thing.  I’m still feeling rusty, but today felt one step closer.  I just need to paint sometime that’s not a lesson, so I can screw my hear back on.

Grazing Fog


On Hold (20x20in on Stretched Canvas)

My young student came over today for an art lesson and we both decided we had the post-holiday-rust going on.  Our paintings just weren’t working, our eyes were un-trained and nothing was coming easy.  A very cool thing to connect with a 10 year old on by the way.  Alas, the two of us agreed to paint again later today > so here it is.  Painting no.2 for getting back into painting shape.  There are things I like about this and things I don’t, but hooray for stepping up to the easel instead of sitting on the couch watching Netflix, amaright?

10 year old student and I also chatted about some things we’d like to work on in our painting this year.  She wants to get better at painting glass objects and metal objects (huzzah!  Something I can actually teach someone).  And I’d like to try applying the atmospheric perspective (where things far away appear blurry or foggy)  Here’s a painting that I recently discovered that inspired this desire:

See how the buildings in the background are painted lighter?  It’s a lot harder for me than it looks!

The other thing I want to try is painting water scenes like this:

I like how the blue sky reflects in just a little area like this.  So far my problem is just finding a safe picture to use to paint from.  I think I’ll have to wait till spring and try to take my own.

And this feels like a similar technique to the atmospheric thing, right?  It seems that I just need to train my eye to see and create the right colors – that’s all painting is really.  Teaching you eye to see. (The two above paintings are done by Carol Marine.)

Anyways, that’s my reflection over aspirations for the new year in painting.  Enjoy watching the growth.

2016 Favorites


 $40.00 USD (8x10in on canvas panel)

My last painting of year, and I just snuck it in.  Because of the sickness that swept through our family this Christmas, we ended up staying home from a conference we planned on going to – so I got to paint!  And for some reason all I was inspired by were some selfies of my friends that I saved months ago.  ::shrugsshoulders::  It felt a little rusty, but I had more time to focus and make the right colors this time – and it was so nice to feel paint on a brush again.

Happy New Year!  Can’t wait to see what I paint next year.  Here are some of my favorites from 2016:



$30 USD  (8x8in on canvas panel)

Baby was sick today, so that meant a long nap!  I started this face over the summer as a demo for painting faces – I love emphasizing the colors in the face so that’s how she got so purple ::smile::

Anyways, today I decided to finish it!  In ten minutes…it was the end of nap time.  But it felt good to get paint on my hands.  This will probably be the last one this year > family comes this weekend!!

Also – got some good news about a mural I will get to paint this summer in Old Town, get excited.  More details to come.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Conference Room No.2


NFS (36x48in on stretched canvas)

Finished covering it paint! (see previous post).  Hopefully they all look good together in the same room.  There will be 3 giant paintings total so get excited.

Conference Room Color


NFS (36x48in on stretched canvas)

My husband gave me the task of creating some art for their conference room at the office.  A company of 8 grown engineers, you can imagine the lack of color in that office ::smile::  I was excited to take on this project.

My initial attempt was completely random abstract….but I soon discovered I’m no good at those; I need a reference photo and a value pattern already established.  So I tried again using the succulent bush I’ve been having so much fun with lately and went a bit more loose and free with it.  I wish I would have taken a picture of the first attempt so you could see how much better this works.

And I’m already excited about the next one:

The commonality each painting will have is the same shades of blue – I’m hoping that’s enough to make them harmonize.  I went to the landfill last week and snagged all the shades of blue I could find.

Happy December!

Montana State Bird


Finished this Christmas commission today.  Hopefully the gift receiver doesn’t see this post ::smile::  I struggled with this technique – where everything is blurry in the background and sharp up front.  Other artist blogs I have followed have taught me that things closer are darker, so I applied that.  Honestly, the colors weren’t what I was initially envisioning, but I think I like the purply back ground shapes.

Things learned.

Winter Succulent Done


SOLD (24x24in on Stretched Canvas)

Okay, so I couldn’t wait till tomorrow to finish it, here it is!  I was nervous to finish it at night with different lighting, but I think it turned out well.  I might touch up a few things tomorrow once I see it in the daylight, but I was too excited to get it up here.

Here is Summer and Fall too:

Fall Succulents | 24x24in | $200

Fall Succulents | 24x24in | $200


Winter Succulent


A few people have asked me lately if i’ve painted anything new – and usually this doesn’t bother me too much because God’s helped me have grace on myself with the baby at home.  But today I decided to do something about it.

We finally got snow here last week, and I managed to snag a picture of the succulent bush in a wintery scene to continue in my all seasons idea.  I didn’t get to finish it today, baby is taking shorter naps these days, but here’s my progress:

img_5992 img_5993 img_5994 img_5995 img_5996

I’m really thankful for the practice using whites I did a few months ago, it is coming in handy for placing all these different shades.  Knowing the end result would be lots of gloomy greys, I did the initial sketch in red-orange in hopes of warming it up a little.  Liking it so far!

I wanted to get this one started soon also because AKINZ is having a winter show and called out for art from local artists.  So if you’re in town look out for that next month!