Thursday, December 19, 2013

Captain Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow ~ 5" x 7" oil on hardboard panel

For Sale on DailyPaintworks
Link becomes live on Dec. 20, 2013

Captain Jack Sparrow is my dog. This is a painting of him from when he was a little puppy. He was a gift for my son's 9th birthday, can you guess what his party theme was? Yup…it was a pirate party! But Captain Jack is not a pirate in our family, not even close, unless you count the odd dive for a fallen scrap at the dinner table. He's a sweet hound, lab, border collie mutt…He's one of my best friends, an awesome running partner, and a cougar protector. I've been out walking with him and a few times he has stopped dead and not allowed me to move past him. He just says, "Nope, no way, you're not going that way. There's danger. We're going home." If I turn around, or go another direction, he's completely happy, but there's no way to force him to go towards whatever it is that he senses. He's gentle and playful with the kids, and seems to know that he can't bite down hard. If we say ouch he backs off. I'm grateful to have such a loyal friend and protector in our family. 
Do you want me to paint your pet? 
Drop me a line…

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Prince of Shadows

Prince of Shadows ~ 6" x 6" oil on hardboard panel
For sale on Daily Paintworks…bidding starts at $39.00
Click here to bid…the link becomes active the afternoon of Dec. 19

My love of horses has been with me since I was a child. I remember so vividly, a spirited Morgan/Arab cross that I was riding with a friend one day. She was a beautiful bay that looked very much like the horse in the picture I painted. My own horse was a placid and gentle quarter horse and was no challenge for my friend who hadn't ridden much. Being the experienced rider  we decided to switch and I got to ride that gorgeous Morgan. She was a dream, with a smooth gait and lightning speed. 

About an hour into our ride, five kilometres or so from the nearest house, the horse I was riding went down on her knees, and tried to roll, saddle and all. I didn't know her well, and thought that maybe she was just trying to dislodge the saddle. When I saw her eyes, though, they were filled with pain, and I knew she must be colicking. Colic is a painful intestinal condition, that can severely injure a horse, and is very very serious. If they don't get medical attention, they can die. 

I forced her to her feet, and we took off, at breakneck speed, through the woods. My only thought was to get her to a house where we could call a vet, as soon as possible. She would run, then stumble and fall…every time I had to jump off of her back before she rolled on me and then my friend and I would pull her to her feet, and I'd get back on and run more until, battered and bruised, we made it to a friends' house that had experience with horses, but she wasn't home. Only her young daughter was there. We called the vet, only to discover he was already out on another call, and it would be hours before he returned. We got a bottle of vegetable oil, wrenched the horses' mouth open and poured it down, and then took turns pulling her to her feet, and making her walk in circles. I was always told to never let a horse roll when they were colicking, as it could cause serious damage. At any rate, after a few hours we were exhausted, and still no vet. My friend finally came home, and said we should probably shoot her! I refused adamantly, as it wasn't even my horse! Finally an uncle showed up who had a pain killer for animals, and the horse calmed down. And then the vet came, and finally all was well. The vet commended us for saving her life! 

Geza's Ghost ~ the plight of the rhinoceros

Geza's Ghost ~ 24" x 36" oil on canvas
Geza was a two and a half year old white rhino (this painting is actually of a black rhino) brutally mutilated and left to die by a poacher that will try to sell his horn to someone who thinks that rhino horn has medicinal qualities. It has no more medicine as our hair or fingernails, as it is entirely composed of keratin.
Rhino poaching is out of control, and some species of rhino are nearing extinction. Almost 1000 rhinoceros have been killed this year alone, and the killing is happening faster than the rhino can reproduce. These idiots must be stopped.
I'm offering prints of "Geza's Ghost", with most of the proceeds going to a charity which helps stop the poaching. Print size is 12" x 18" with a half inch white border all around. PLEASE help stop the obliteration of one of the most magnificent creatures on our planet.
This video is about Geza and his plight. WARNING! It's very sad and hard to watch:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Storyteller ~ man playing flamenco guitar

The Storyteller ~ 5" x 7" oil on board
For sale at Daily Paintworks 

Confession: I've always had a thing for musicians… ;) I even ended up marrying one!  Lol!  I remember being a little girl, and watching my dad's fingers on the strings and just being in awe, tingling with excitement that such a beautiful sound could come from his fingers. The fascination has never left me. I'm the girl in the corner of the bar, sketchbook open, trying to capture some of their passion on paper instead of dancing. Not a few musicians discovered my habit, and own little sketches. Musicians open up their heart and soul to you, on stage, in person and I find it awe inspiring, raw, vulnerable and brave. I feel that they are most themselves when they're up there, and I want to capture that.

(reference photo attribution: Rich Anderson)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Going Away

6" x 6" oil on hand primed hardboard
Going Away ~ 6" x 6" oil on board

BID NOW  (bidding starts Nov. 11)

It's getting colder…and colder…the frost hasn't left my yard in three days, and the wood stove has been burning furiously, trying to keep the chill off my new home.  Did I tell you we moved? It is a lovely house that my husband built with his dad about 35 years ago. It's big and solid and cozy with three bedrooms and two fireplaces and lots of quirky artistic details. I think his dad was a closet artist ;) Much too manly to admit it, but when I look at some of the love and attention to detail in this house, I can tell, although I never knew him.
Nevertheless, when the weather gets colder, all I can think about is travelling. Years ago I found this image on flickr and fell in love…I promptly emailed the photographer HaoJan Chang, who graciously gave me permission. When I see this, I'm filled with longing, expectation, excitement…all of the emotions that an upcoming trip can bring…it's a perfect image for how I'm feeling lately and I just had to capture it in paint. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

White Bisons and Music Festivals

White Bison ~ 6" x 6" oil on hardboard panel
For sale starting July 31st on Daily Paintworks
I finally had a whole four hours to paint yesterday! What a concept! In the last month I've had a mural to complete, four farmer's markets to make jewelry and baking for, three different sets of family visiting, three to four days a week at my "regular" job, and volunteering for the Art's Council, plus two kids to take to swimming lessons every day, a cottage to rent out, three specialty cakes this week and a normal household to look after. Wow! Summer! We look forward to it all year, and then it goes by so fast that we feel like we missed all the beautiful weather. 
But a whole four hours to paint by myself, with nobody around, was bliss :)

Here's one of the reasons you haven't seen much of me in the last little while. But I'm done, and proud if I do say so myself! It looks much better in real life...the surrounding cedar walls give the whole thing a bit of an unpleasant yellow tone.
Bella Coola Music Festival Mural 10 ft x 20 ft
(He will be sitting on a piece of crown moulding instead of floating in space when the new door is installed)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Voice of the Wildnerness ~ Howling wolf painting

Voice of the Wilderness ~ 6" x 6" oil on hardboard panel

You know those days when you just can't wake up? The alarm goes off, and your eyes creak open like a rusty door. Your body feels like a piece of waterlogged oak, and your brain feels like oatmeal? There's no excuse, no one to blame. No late night party or bottle of wine...I'm having one of those days. My eyes are half open as I type, and I'm already on my third yawn, even before I'm done the first paragraph. The one thing that I successfully accomplished today was this painting! It seems that my brain works fine on autopilot...Yay! I didn't have to think much at all for this one. An amazing wildlife photographer, who is a previous collector of mine, graciously offered up his artistry with the lens by suggesting I paint this photo he took of a wolf in Yellowstone. So really he did the easy part for me. All I had to do was paint what was in front of me. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Prince ~ Young bull elk in velvet

The Prince ~ 6" x 6" oil on hardboard panel

This little guy was a challenge from a fan to paint a white elk on a white background. I initially didn't think that I could do him justice, as my thought was that his antlers wouldn't fit. But at this angle, with his new velvet, the proportions worked perfectly.
For sale now on Daily Paintworks ~ Click HERE to bid

Friday, June 14, 2013

You Know You're An Artist When...

He Came out of the Fog ~ 6" x 6" oil on hardboard panel

Have you ever notice that as an artist, you really do see the world differently than most people?
Almost everything on this list applies to me!

  1. You know what shade of green the kale in your garden is.
  2. There are multicoloured fingerprints on your phone, computer, countertop...
  3. You accidentally clean your brushes in your coffee
  4. You actually do judge a book by its cover
  5. The highlights in your hair are from your palette, not Clairol
  6. When travelling from one place to another you spend the whole time analyzing the color mixtures in the landscape instead of enjoying the scenery
  7. When you get caught staring at people, but it's not because you're checking them out, it's because your trying to figure out the value of the shadow on the side of their face, or the exact shade of purple under their nose...
  8. You long to be alone with your thoughts while others are lonely without much thought.
  9. You go to the store and wonder why everyone is staring, only to come home and realize you had red paint on your face.
  10. You consider things like showers and eating extremely annoying because they keep you from your easel.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Namaste ~ a Bengal Tiger in Hawaii

 Namaste ~ 6"x6" oil on hardboard panel

Namaste is the white Bengal Tiger that lives at the Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo in Hilo Hawaii. I have to say, I am opposed to wild animals being penned up, it is too un-natural and cruel as far as I'm concerned. was an opportunity to show our kids something they would never get to see otherwise. Namaste was injured while we were there, and quite docile, but I was still able to get a few pictures of him before he decided to hide in his enclosure. 
Here is a in progress demo so you can see a few of the steps I take to create a painting like this. Usually the background of the reference photos are busy, or too colorful, or just plain bad, so I like to make a plain light or dark background. 
When I'm painting a portrait, whether a person or animal, I feel that zooming in close and getting rid of the background makes the subject the most important, and gives them a sense of individual character and personality.
The whole painting took me about 2 and a half hours.

Stage 2 ~ one hour in

Stage 1 ~ 20 minutes in

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

White Wolves and goats...

The Stare-Down ~ 6" x  6" oil on handcut hardboard panel

So...I've read that it is important to share things about yourself as an artist and a blogger...really, my life isn't all that interesting, but if you've ever wondered, here are five totally useless things about me that you probably didn't know:

  1. I curl my toes under when I sit. Yup, weird, eh? (Oh yeah, I'm Canadian too, can't you tell!) I've done it for as long as I can remember. I have big calluses on all of my toe-knuckles...Attractive, isn't it?
  2. I chew the inside of my cheek when I'm nervous, bored, thinking...well, for any reason, really. It's a habit I'm trying really hard to break, because it makes me really ugly, but it's not working. See! I'm chewing it right now! Sigh:(
  3. The sound I hate most in the world is when a musician slides their finger down the string and their nail hits it and it makes...THAT SOUND! I just got jeebed out thinking about it...(shudder)
  4. My most favourite snack in the world is popcorn with coconut oil and curry powder. I sometimes eat it for lunch. Yum...I think I'll go make some. I'm hungry.
  5. And finally, number five...I was a total dork in school. I mean the dorky dork. No friends, chubby with inch and a half curly hair...can you say mini fro?!, and I smelled like goats...I had to milk them before school. Not a pretty picture, really. 
Well, I hope that you all still like me after that brutal confessional. If you don't, at least I hope you still like my art!

So bye until next time...when I talk about the consequences of goat milking on teenage developement...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

White Storm

6" x 6" oil on canvas panel
For sale on Daily Paintworks

This is my latest "Almost Daily Painting". Kind of a three value study.
I hope you like it:)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Girl's Best Friend

A Girl's Best Friend ~ 5" x 7" oil on hardboard panel

My daughter LOVES cats...unfortunately, we had to give ours up when she was born because it's favourite place to sleep was on top of her. We didn't have a bedroom with a door, so we gave the sweet kitty to my parents where she lives to this day. The nice thing about that is we can still visit and Rhiannon can get her "kitty lovin'". 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sunlit Parasol

Sunlit Parasol ~ 5" x 7" oil on masonite panel

It looks like the sun is coming back! After a week of rain and coolish temperatures, I've been feeling a bit blah, and lacking creative energy. But today the sun is weakly shining through thin cloud cover and I'm hoping it will clear today, so I can go for my run without getting soaked!
This painting reminds me of the sun!

Friday, May 24, 2013


Chuck ~ 6" x 6" oil on canvas panel

So, I've painted you cows, and I've painted you horses, so I figured it was time to give you all a cowboy.
This particular cowboy is a very close relative of mine, actually, my brother...and he HATES being called don't tell on me...The name Charles just seems too sophisticated for a cowboy. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Casperson's Farm ~ Landscape painting

Casperson's Farm ~ 5" x 7" oil on masonite panel

I thought I'd practise a bit of landscape painting today. I don't do it enough.
This is a little farm just down the road from my place. I love the old farming equipment left in the field.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blanca ~ otherwise known as White cow in a Snowstorm

Blanca ~ 6" x 6" oil on panel
bid in the auction HERE

I'm always fascinated with the different variations of white. White things are never actually white to paint. I was inspired by how things seem to emerge out of nowhere, on those foggy, heavy misty days that are abundant in this west-coast village I call home.
I know I should have something deep to say about this painting or my technique, or purity or SOMETHING! but nothing is coming to me. My brain is a pure white blank slate...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Texas Gold ~ Texas Longhorn Cow oil painting demonstration

Texas Gold ~ 9" x 12" oil on canvas panel

I think I've mentioned before that a man down the road from us has Texas Longhorns. They're such a fascinating animal. They look so powerful and intimidating, but in actuality they're quite gentle and sweet natured.  Unfortunately, we live far from Texas, on the rainy West Coast of B.C., and light like this just doesn't happen. I tried to imagine and convey the heat and intensity of a summer Texas sunset in this one, as I don't think the mist and cedar trees of Bella Coola are a fitting environment for these magnificent beasts. For sale now at Daily Paintworks, click HERE to take you to the auction page.

Below, I've showed a few of the steps that I took in creating this painting. I know I should take more pics but I get so into what I'm doing that I forget to stop to show you my progress.


Step 2 ~ about halfway done...I'm working out the shadow of the cow, and experimenting with the color of the background, adding some lights and mid tones, throwing in touches of pure color to excite the eye...(I hope, lol!)

Step 1 ~ the first block in. I do the darks first, working out the composition...It's much easier to work darks into light than the other way around. I find that the darks provide the framework, and it's everything on top that adds form.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tuscan Vineyard

Tuscan Vineyard ~ 5" x 7" oil on gessoed hardboard

So I'm really mixing things up for you folks! Trying to keep it interesting, for you and also for myself. I love painting animals and people, I've always said my favorite things to paint are things with eyes..."the windows to the soul", and usually that is where I'm really satisfied. 
A few years ago I went to Europe. It was the trip of a lifetime. I took so many pictures of the amazing countryside, and I told myself that I would paint them. And those pictures sit in my reference folder, taunting me every time I'm looking for subject matter. 
This particular photo is of a winery and its vineyard in the Chianti region of Tuscany where I went on a wine tasting tour. What a blast that was, and another story entirely, lol!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Out of the Shadows

Out of the Shadows ~ 6" x 6" oil on panel

Here's a change from the cows...I missed my horses! Cows are fun, but maybe I'm feeling more serious today. Horses are a lot more dignified, don't you think?
The challenge in painting this was taking my substandard reference photos and getting the look of dramatic light on them! This worked out alright, me-thinks!
You can own this little lady by clicking right down here, to bid in the Daily Paintworks auction...

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Texas Longhorn

Tex ~ 8" x 10" oil on panel

to bid in this auction click HERE

A friend challenged me to paint a texas longhorn cow, since I've been painting a lot of cows. I found it difficult to find a format to fit his horns! I might get my hubby to cut me a long, narrow board. I think that might look cool, too. 
I've been experimenting with thicker paint lately, and this one is pretty juicy. I used a pallet knife in sections, and scraped away to the orange ground, and built the paint up thick in other areas. I think I like the effect.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Pizzeria ~ 5" x 7" oil on hardboard

Well, now for something a little different from cows...I still love cows, don't get me wrong, and you'll be seeing more of them, but I needed a break.
This character spoke to me...he said "Paint me"...
I can't take credit for the great reference photo, other than creative license with cropping and placement of certain elements. It's from my friend, Fraser Koreluk's stash of travel photos, and he kindly gave me permission to paint it.
 I've worked in restaurant kitchens for most of my adult life, and the pose, the look of concentration, are so familiar to me. I also loved the light, and the old-town look of the stone oven.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Carmella the cow

Carmella ~ 6" x 6" oil on canvas panel
up for bid at Daily Paintworks

Again, I'm having fun with complementaries. The blue and the orange are such a vibrant combination. I also decided to change things up by painting this one on an orange ground, too. It peeks through the blue, adding a neat colour vibration. I'm working on loosening up, too. This painting has thicker paint and looser brushwork. It's a challenge to see how little information you can add and still keep the painting strong. I still probably over-did it. My inclination is to get finicky with details, but I think that sometimes kills the strength of a painting.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Got Milk? ~ Cow portrait

"Got Milk?" 6" x 6" oil on canvas panel

click here to BID NOW on Daily Paintworks

I'm having a bit of fun again with the complementary colour scheme, and of course, cows...Painting cows always makes me happy. They're just so endearing, that I can't help but smile while I'm painting them. This little darling had just finished nursing from her mom and had a milk must mustache, but she's not a bit concerned about it!
I'm really happy with how she turned out. I almost want to keep it for myself :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Nevermore ~ the Raven

Nevermore ~ 6" x 6" mixed media on panel
For Sale on Daily Paintworks

"...Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'" ~Edgar Allen Poe

I've long had a fascination with ravens. They seem to have an extraordinary intelligence. We had one as a pet, when I was a child. It was injured, and my father rescued it. We nursed it back to health and it actually learned to say hello, and would greet us when we approached.
Last summer I had the great fortune to witness a raven "funeral". There was a dead raven on the side of the road. As I sat on the deck, eating my lunch, a squawking, raucous murder of ravens flew up and landed in a tree just behind their fallen comrade. A lone raven separated from the group and walked a few circles around the dead one. The whole time, the others were calling noisily. Then the lone raven flew back to the tree. With that, they fell silent, and as if on cue, quietly flew away with a rush of wings.
The moment left me with goosebumps and a little breathless, for what was clearly an homage to their fallen friend.
I wanted this painting to have a bit of an otherworldly feeling. I have long doodled spirals, and I went into this painting intentionally trying to call my intuitive creative spirit instead of being purely representational and the spirals appeared.
 I put paint on and wiped it off. I sprayed water on it and let it drip. I put bubble wrap in the wet paint, and played with metallics. The swirls are actually painted in metallic cold. The background is acrylic paint and the raven is in oils.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean
6" x 6" oil on panel

BID NOW in the Daily Paintworks Auction

This painting was done as part of one of the Daily Paintworks challenges, called the "Limited Movie Star" challenge. The challenge was to only use five values, and only use blue, purple and white to paint the picture.
When I was a teenager, I LOVED James Dean. I had a photo book of his biography and would draw him over and over :) So when I saw the challenge I knew exactly who I would paint.
It was a fun little challenge. Who knows, maybe I should paint more "blue" movie stars...what do you think?

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Dressage ~ 7" x 9" oil on panel

I finally feel like I'm back in the swing of painting again! Yay! 
I'd had too much time off...too much time relaxing. Not a bad thing, I just felt like I forgot how to paint a little. How do I hold the brush again? How much paint do I mix up? What's the complementary of orange? Lol!
At any rate, I'm on a roll now. I really had fun with this one. I slopped the paint on with wild abandon:) (Well, only the background, but I really like the texture of the built up paint. It's really nice and juicy.
This one's going up for bid on Daily Paintworks, so click here to
for you chance to win.  

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thoughts on Why I'm an Artist

False Modesty ~ 7" x 9" oil on canvas panel
For sale on Daily Paintworks

Why am I an artist?
I remember sitting at the coffee table, at five or six years old. We had a brown shag rug that tickled my knees. 
Someone had given me a sheet of tracing paper and it was a revelation.
I could draw something that looked like what it was supposed to! It wasn't childish circle faces and triangle trees. It was a dog, or a horse, or whatever it was...I don't even remember the subject, but it looked like what I'd meant it to look like! 
My parents had beamed and exclaimed over how beautiful it was, always encouraging even my most childish scribbles.
As I sit writing this, my six year old daughter has just run up to me, beaming,
with her tracing of Draculaura. "Look how good I'm doing, Mom!" she trills.
"Wow! That's awesome!" I say. 

It doesn't matter that it's traced, it matters that it looks right to her. That day on the brown shag rug, I suddenly had confidence that maybe my little hand holding a pencil, could make something look right, how it was "supposed" to look. And I know that is what my daughter is feeling right now.
That day I decided I would be an artist. I didn't stop drawing. I drew everything I could and soon I didn't need to trace. I could make it "look right" all on my own.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Signs of Spring

You know it's spring when these colourful little critters start popping up in fields all over the countryside!
I just can't resist those long eyelashes and that little mischievious twinkle. She looks like she's full of "piss and vinegar" as my dad would say;)

For this one, I tried to work the complementary colours of blue and orange to make this little gal pop. 

Curly Sue ~ 6"x 6" oil on canvas panel
For sale on Daily Paintworks
Click HERE to bid.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Samoan Fire Dancer painting...time in Hawaii

Keeper of the Fire ~ 24" x 30" oil on canvas 

Soooo....I have a confession to make. 
I haven't posted a thing in so long because...I am in Hawaii! I have been for the last two months!
I've been soaking up the sun, enjoying the beach, and relishing the time with my family, uninterrupted by school and work. I haven't painted very much. I haven't wanted to interrupt this special time. When I paint, I want to be left alone. I resent the attention everyone else demands from me, and I become a lot more selfish. And the more I paint, the more I want to paint. 
This vacation I wanted to just be. Just be with my kids and my husband.
My marriage has become even more precious, my relationship with my children has blossomed. (They are such amazing human beings!) I love to see them learning about their new environment, excited and curious again. I don't feel like they're missing too much, being away from school. They do their homework every day, and it hardly takes an hour. The rest of the day they get to learn about Hawaii, and they're so enthusiastic in their learning. They can name all of the Hawaiian fish, and many of the flowers and birds. They're just little sponges! I wish my memory was half as good!
I have painted a bit, when they were doing something that didn't interest me, or when I absolutely had to off-gas some creative energy, for fear of exploding! I've done a few little horses, which have all sold, and this monster of a painting.(above) 
I got the idea for him last year, after seeing photos of the Samoan fire dancers. The contrast of fire and darkness is so powerful and dramatic. I wanted to add a feeling of ancientness, of story, so I added the petroglyphs.
I hope you like it:)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sunlit Bay

Sunlit Bay  6" x 6" oil on panel
For sale on Daily Paintworks

My attempt at showing strong sunlight on a dark horse...I must say he was a bit of a challenge, but I really enjoy working with the rich colors. 
This little guy is on Daily Paintworks starting at a really reasonable price. Click the link above, if you're interested.