Monday, December 29, 2014

Snow Scene Trilogy

A snowy day, the perfect day for painting snow scenes.
I have been home in Ouray for almost a month.  As soon as we returned from 2 months of great hiking in Utah, I got out my paints and printed some reference photos of some of the radiant red rock canyons we had explored.  I put paint on paper trying to recreate the magic and feel of those hidden canyons and sandstone monoliths.  Phooey, it just would not come out as I saw it in my head.  Into the trash.  I tried just wasn't working.  Then yesterday with all the fun and activity of Christmas behind us and also with the completion of a unique sewing project (quilt), I got my paints out once again.
This time I scanned thru some photos from last winter's snow shoeing excursions.  After all it is winter and it is snowing.
There is a fire glowing in the fireplace and there is football on the TV, a great time to paint. 

This is a sketch of my first scene with the sky painted.  I used a wet in wet technique with cerulean blue at the horizon and adding cobalt and ultramarine as I went up.  When it was still damp, I used kleenex to make the white streaks in the sky

Here, I am just starting to add color and shadow to an area of snow.  Since my sky was still damp and I did not want to chance other colors seeping into the blues, I moved down to an area that I could wet without disturbing the sky.  After wetting this area I dropped in some yellow, permanent rose, and a mixture of permanent rose and cobalt blue.

While that area was drying, I wet the mountain and added some exposed rocky areas with an ultramarine - burnt sienna mixture.  Then I took a small flat brush and mixed sap green with june bug and ultramarine to create the trees and their shadows.

Each area of snow was done wet in wet.  The different colors and shadows give contour to the landscape

"Climbing Higher"

Second scene:  I wanted to give the affect of a glowing low winter sun and so I used a light wash of yellow in the sky on the left, then added my blues and permanent rose as I moved to the right.  While the sky was drying I wet the lower area of snow and used the same colors as in the sky.

Here the same colors are used to create the contours in the snowscape, and the same green mixture I used in the first scene for the trees.

More trees, more shading and shadows to indicate the direction of the light 

"All Is Calm"

The same techniques and colors were used in this third painting.  I wanted the three of them to compliment each other.  Each one is 8x8 and will be matted to 12x12 or in one matt all together.
"Making Tracks, on Red Mountain"

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Back Again

Crystal Lake reflects the Red Mountains

After making a rough sketch, I started painting the sky by using the wet in wet technique.
I used cobalt blue and some June bug blue,  after letting it run and dry just a little, I dabbed kleenex to pick up paint where I wanted clouds

After the sky was dry I washed in some orange at the top of the mountains

Then I got so absorbed in painting that I forgot to take any more photos :-)
But, you can probably see that I washed in blues and greens as I came down the mountains.
I decided that I did not want a lot of water, so I cut the painting off at the bottom.  I added the tree detail with a square stiff brush and various shades of green and blue

Matted painting.  Now I need a title

This is "Sweet Violet"  
I made her for my great niece, Emma, who turned 2 in August

I found the pattern on the internet, and she was quite easy to put together.
Do you remember the song: "Sweet Violet,  Sweeter than the roses, covered all over from head to toe,
Covered all over with Sweet Violets…"

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Experimenting With New Styles And Color Combinations

Recently I have been experimenting with different styles of painting, using DVDs, art magazines and books.
This very quickly painted landscape is from a lesson by Stephen Quiller on his DVD, Atmosphere & Light.
Stephen Quiller is a well known artist from Creede, Colorado.  He is known for bold colors and textures.

In this unfinished work, I followed a lesson by Naomi Tydeman on depicting a landscape at sunset

Today is my great niece, Mia's 5th birthday.  For the occasion I made her this cupcake apron

I found a towel with a similar cupcake theme, cut it down and buttoned it to the apron
I hope it fits her, my pattern was for an adult, so I had to guess at how much to cut it down.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Red Mountain Shadows

Red Mountain Shadows
10x14, matted to 16x20

In my last post I displayed a 4x6 watercolor sketch that I had done from a photo taken during a snowshoeing trip up on Red Mt pass last year.  Above is the larger painting that I just completed.  Below is the latest bag that I made for my close friend, Sandy, who is an avid birder and naturalist.  We spent a year together on the Navajo Reservation in VISTA (volunteers in service to America) back in the late 60s.  Happy Birthday, Sandy!!

I found some great fabric, beads and charms for this bag when we were in Sedona in February

Saturday, March 1, 2014


This photo is from a snowshoeing excursion up on Red Mountain Pass last winter 

Here we are moving toward spring.  Yesterday it snowed, today it rained.  Last week we were enjoying the sun and red rocks of Sedona and this week we are enjoying the changing moods that happen each day in Lovely Ouray.

This is a 4x6 sketch that I rendered of the above photo
I am working on a larger rendition

En PLEIN AIR sketch on location in Sedona, AZ

 4x6 sketch  of Cathedral Rocks near Sedona. 
 We spent a lovely week there as a break from winter in Ouray

My most recent patchwork bag.  It is a birthday gift for my good friend, Martha

"Fence Post Garden"  This painting is available now as a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2"  magnet

"Sneffles from East Dallas"  is also available in magnet form.
Hopefully this summer they will be at Bear Creek Store and/or the Wildflower boutique.
Right now you may purchase them directly from me:  1 for $5, 2 for $8, includes tax and shipping

Saturday, February 1, 2014


"Be At Peace"
In the February issue of Watercolor Artist there is a demo on creating backlighting by Karen Holman.
I decided to try out her techniques.  I used my own composition but her instructions and colors.

Masking of snow areas.  She also mentions masking 3 circles in the center of the composition.  I evidently did that part wrong, so if you try this, leave those out.

She uses a triad of colors, quinacridone gold, Q burnt orange, and indigo.
Wet the paper, apply Q gold in the center, then a ring of orange, then indigo.
Blend the colors by using a fine spray (bottle) of water, spraying from center out

Let the paper dry.  Mix your greens and push them under the masking where your evergreen branches are

Then, using a stiff brush spatter aureolin and Qgold, and a little indigo, spray lightly with water to blend colors

Use indigo and a little rose to create the shadows, paint in the tree trunks and branches

Remove the masking, then wet each snow shape and create shadows using cobalt blue.
This would not have been a bad painting if it was not for the circles in the center.

Be At Peace
I painted this from a photo I took up near Red Mountain Pass last winter while snow shoeing.
There is no back lighting in it, but I like the feel of it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


View From Dalton Wells
Last fall while camped outside of Moab, Utah, I took a few photos of the area to use as reference for painting.  The above piece is a result of one of those photos.

We refer to our family in Golden, CO, as MOAB because of their first name initials.  Maia, Owen, Anita, and Brent.

This next bag is for my great niece, Maia, the M in MOAB, who turns 12 the end of this month.  She has many interests, including her cats, Wilbur and Orville; sewing, cooking and outdoor activities that include biking and learning about nature and the environment.  Last I heard, she wants to be a marine biologist.

View From Dalton Wells
10x14, matted to 16x20