Saturday, May 29, 2010

Moonrise By the Vulture

Moonrise by the Vulture___10x8 oil on linen panel___$270

Near Wickenburg, AZ is a mountain called Vulture Peak. I went out there at sunset/moonrise with my pal Monica while I visited Arizona. I mentioned this in the sunset blog post a few days ago...her pals had a little party on the trail and enjoyed wine and chocolate. No one seemed to know where the moon would rise, and I was afraid they miscalculated and it would rise behind the mountain. It would take too long to clear the mountain that way, and by then the sky would be too dark and I'd not have been able to paint I hopped in my truck and drove down the road where I could paint it...when I came back to the group, I saw that the moon had risen BETWEEN the mountains in a perect place to paint. Ah well, I painted it between the saguaros above :)

Quick Draw Mission Bell

Mission School Bell___14x11 oil on linen ___sold at Phippen Quick Draw
Today was the first day of the Phippen Museum Western Art Show in Prescott, AZ. Named for George Phippen, an original member of the prestigeous Cowboy Artists of America. He was an illustrator, then a fabulous painter who died too young...His family is still closely involved with this museum and show. His granddaughter, Sarah is a young artist, too, and her booth is regularly right next to mine at the show. We have become good friends.
Today the art was judged for awards, and some of us painters did the "Quick Draw" (appropriate name for a Western Art Show)...we have 45 minutes to create an original work, then 15 minutes to frame it. Then the works are auctioned off for the benefit of the museum. My favorite mission bell (from San Xavier) was my subject of this quick painting....a real loose one which was purchased by John and Janey McCullough who own and run the fine Windrush Gallery in Sedona, AZ. I am sure I misspelled their name (sorry John!). Tomorrow I will do another quick draw...stay tuned!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Red by the Vulture

Red by the Vulture____6x8 oil sketch on canvas panel__$150
Today I traveled from Wickenburg, AZ to Prescott, AZ.
Last night I stayed with a friend in Wickenburg, and we went to the Vulture Peak Trail with a group of her buddies and watched the sunset and then the moonrise. I painted BOTH...FAST!!!...while the gang drank wine, and ate chocolate and beat on drums... Here is the sunset part...looking east where the moon would be rising. Right when the sun went down, it turned the tops of the mountains BLOOD RED! It was too good to pass up, so I altered the painting ON THE SPOT!
I will be teaching some of these techniques for grabbing color fast and getting the impression down quickly. The workshop is in Fredericksburg, TX, June 14 - 16, with an extra optinal day of painting on the the art school for details

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Xavier Study

Xavier Study____6x8 oil on linen___$190 or I am taking it to Phippen!
I just painted this. See the photo below for the "real" view. I shouldn't show these together, but click the image above and see the quick strokes of color...this is a SKETCH in oils, meant to gather color and the impression....but sometimes the impression is not all that "IMPRESSIVE".....I spent the morning at the "Dove of the Desert", San Xavier Mission in southern Arizona. This is near the Mexican border...a BEAUTIFUL place of such diversity. I also spent sunset there last night...and saw the was here that I discovered that I FORGOT all my painting gear, except a small pouchade box still loaded up for my drive-by paintings! Better than nothing!. So I am typing this 90 miles up the road at a McDonalds in Phoenix, hoping to squeeze in a visit with a former student who lives here (CALL ME JULIE!), and will bide my time at the Jerry's Artarama, buying new paints etc., so I can do the quick-draw at the Phippen Museum Art Show on Saturday-Monday. WHEW! Come see me!
OR, come to my workshop in Fredericksburg June 14-16 or 17. We'll be learning to sketch like this and MORE! for info

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Drive By Cattle Drive

Drive-By Cattle Drive___8x10 oil on linen panel___for the "Passing America..." exhibit

My last time to drive through the central plains was in the winter. My son was at the wheel and we saw a mounted cowboy and a couple of calves on the top of a hill. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few good ones with the snowy scene looking so typically western!, a few weeks ago I pulled out those pictures to make a new painting for the Western Art Show. As I zoomed in I saw that the figures were only metal cut-outs placed on the hill . You have seen them, They are black silhouettes and look like cowboys or bears or something that grabs your eye!. They sure fooled me! I felt pretty stupid to think I had almost painted them! (If it weren't for the platform stand under each figure, I would have created a sure masterpiece of yard decorations! )

So just now, as my husband was driving us through the Plains, a REAL cattle drive was moving over the sandhills of northwest Nebraska. He was kind enough to stop and let me snap, snap snap. I have great reference for a large work, and this study above, created on the road from memory and other pastures passing by.

I am rethinking the idea of placing trips back to back to back....I am a slow learner, but have learned this one the hard way...In 9 days I will be back FOR GOOD! and not taking any more extended trips for a while.

I am REALLY eager to put my new art and observations on the blogs, and to tell my recent tales of the Plains...But I want it to be in order! So it will be a while...I have some 25 new "drive-by" paintings/sketches, and interesting musings to go with them. I will be working on that in my "spare time" as I am in Arizona at the Phippen Museum Western Art Show for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. While in Arizona I have decided to extend my trip an extra week. I am even flying my daughter out to drive home with me. Together we will tool around Arizona and spend all our money there with other friends who are joining us!!

When I get back I'll teach a workshop in Fredericksburg, TX. I will bring all the drive-bys to "show and tell" the class, because much of what I am DOING is what I also TEACH about drawing and capturing the impressions FAST and WELL!!! PLEASE join me June 14-16 with an optional extra day on June 17. Click here and scroll down to my class info.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Plains Boundary

Plains Boundary___8x10 drive-by oil study on linen___click to see details
If you saw yesterday's post, I explained that the painting was started as we drove into Denver, but I finished it the next morning...the light was much it's not a TRUE "drive-by" painting...I called it "Little Denver" because the city of Denver, a great and sprawling metropolis looks pretty tiny in contrast to the awesome Rocky Mountains...The plains settlers seeing these mountains for the first time after ENDLESS distance must have been awe struck!...The painting above was ALSO completed at the hotel, which had a nice view of the mountains. I was most impressed with the EDGE of the plain and how it abruptly STOPS at the foot of the mountain. ...I hope you will follow up this week to see some of the actual works painted on the road west from Omaha. We touched base in 5 states: Iowa, Nebraska (and MORE Nebraska), South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado...
-Saturday - Monday is the Phippen Museum Western Art Show in Prescott, AZ. I will be there in Booth 77. PLEASE come meet me and see my newest works.
-June 14-17 is my next workshop. I will teach a lot of drawing (the basis of my work!) and will help you to paint faster....and BETTER! Fredericksburg, TX. email for details
-my friend Adele Earnshaw has 75 small works she is selling for $75 each. See her WONDERFUL bird studies! ...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Little Denver

Little Denver____8x10 drive-by oil study on linen____click for details
I started this last night as we drove into Denver airport area, completing our journey through the plains....FOR NOW!
I liked the light this morning better, so I finished it from the hotel just now, and am posting it from the hotel...people are waiting for the computer, so I will talk about it later!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Approaching the Storm

Approaching the Storm__Coleman, TX_See the trip blog: Passing America...
Have you ever been to the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE? Well I have, as of this morning. I will tell about it when I post works from my current trip through Nebraska, but for now, here is another one from last week's trip thru the Texas Plains Trail. Click the link above to read about the route. This was the only bad weather we had ...a huge storm before Coleman and Winters, TX. The sky was black and lightning was all around us. Do those brush strokes seem nervous? I painted this one and another one as we went through the storm. The strokes are even MORE nervous on the other one...I will have to photograph it when I get back. Postings will be sparse for a few days while we head to Denver, Colorado across the plains. WHAT an amazing place!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Between Land and Sky

Between Land and Sky___Dumas to Stinnett___6x8 oil study for the exhibit in 2011
Please see my project BLOG about the beginning of this leg of my plains travels.
This was a drive-by painting memorized in passing.
I will be posting some photos and details about my journey on the Texas Plains Trail last weekend....yet, tomorrow, I continue the adventure...flying to Omaha, NE, then driving across to Denver. COME ALONG!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Sunset in Crosbyton, TX____6x8 oil on linen panel__for Passing America: The Great Plains__exhibit 2011
Over 1300 miles this past weekend....we drove a circuit on the Texas Plains Trail. If you like the open road and great LLLLOONNNGGGGG Vistas, you would love this route. Every mile of it was an example of the theme of my project "Passing...the Great Plains": desolate farm houses, empty small towns, huge industrial farms, great feed lots. Much of it was unfenced!
The painting above was a REAL quick study as the sun's last light illuminated one of the thunderhead clouds south of Crosbyton. We had planned to stay in that town, but the one hotel there seemed a little bit suspect, so we drove the 30 miles or so to Lubbock, through clouds of mosquitoes which sounded and splashed like rain on the windshield! There has been a LOT of rain in our usually arid Texas panhandle. The farmers seemed happy!
I will talk more about this trip (and the one I will take on Thursday!) in the upcoming days...all in all I painted a pile of canvases, some of which need an "oil change"...(that is, adjusting certain elements of the oil painting!)...My pick-up truck also needs an oil change after the is what my grill looked like after the mosquito showers...with a few butterflies, sadly!
My New Ford Truck conquered clouds of mosquitoes!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Willow City Loop

Willow City Loop____30x40 oil on linen____Available at Whistle Pik Galleries, Texas
in early April, I did the plein air study for this large painting. I knew right away that I ought to do a big it is! Click the image on the BLOG to see it larger. I will deliver this one (in my new, special, unique, REALLY COOL FRAME!!!) to Whistle Pik Galleries in Fredericksburg, TX next week.... I have just a few more of my spring bluebonnet studies to post, so I will scatter them with the new things I am working on....TOMORROW I will post a "drive-by" painting which I have not done yet! I am starting my third trip across a portion of the plains, to work some more on "Passing America the Great Plains" This will be a solo exhibit at the Great Plains Art Museum at the University of Nebraska....I have three plains trips this month. This weekend I will cover the Texas High read more about my plains project click here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Goat Barn

Pat's Goat Barn___12 x 16 oil on linen panel___workshop demo for Pat
Yesterday I taught a nice group of artists in Dripping Springs, TX. We worked at the ranch of my friend Pat Haberman. I set up here, looking up at the 100 year old goat barn, and really enjoyed painting this as our morning demo. It got really windy, but the day was so nice! THANK YOU, Pat! ...and EVERYONE else who got to come! S, P, R, N, P, D and A!
My next workshop is in a few weeks in Fredericksburg, TX. There are lots of little old buildings nearby, and I plan a drawing lesson using them as models! E-mail if you want to join us on June 14-16 (with an extra day on June 17!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Over the Hill Blues

Over the Hill Blues___6x8 oil study on linen panel__a "sort of "drive-by" painting__$190 before it dries!
Actually this one IS dry, but I prepared this post a few weeks ago...I am preparing, now, for a couple of FAST trips through the Plains. If you have not become a FOLLOWER of my other blog, now is a good time to do it! You can follow me along the Texas Plains Trail. Click to see where I am going on Thursday. This is a "quickie trip" with a friend driving me around the trail, while I prepare "drive-by" works for a museum show in fall 2011. It is a big undertaking, but I have a story to tell. The story is a sort of extension of my own farm story, as I have learned that others all over America are moving off their small farms. ...After the Texas Plains Trail, I will fly to Omaha, and paint across the Plains all the way to Denver....stay tuned! me if you are interested in my June workshop

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Horse on Blue

Horse on Blue__6x8 oil study on linen panel___$190

The near meadow was in the shadow of the thick morning clouds, but we could see the sun on the distant hill and clear skies ahead....I really do not like painting on FULL clear blue skies, but I prefer a few clouds to bring interesting light and shadow patterns on the landscape.
I painted this one not too far from Fredericksburg, where I will be teaching a workshop on June 14 - 16. We will have an optional day on June 17 for those who want to WORK WORK WORK on the things we learn the other 3 days. e-mail if you are interested
We have had one (last?) weekend of cool weather, but we all know that summer heat is just around the corner. Personally I love the hot hot days of summer, and actually feel more energetic than on a crisp winter day...
Did you get to see this video? It is me talking about the farm...just put on You Tube last week by the Texas Country Reporter.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Blue Prickly Pear Patch

Blue Prickly Pear Patch___6x8 oil study on linen panel___$150

I painted this just a couple weeks ago, but already this scene looks different! I was out in the hills today, and the bluebonnets are nearly gone, being replaced by other wildflowers...and the cactus is starting to bloom!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Blue Yucca Hillside

"Blue Yucca Hillside"___6x8 oil study on linen panel___$190

Here is some IMPORTANT INFO...especially the YouTube link!:

- June 14 -16 or 17...workshop in Fredericksburg, TX email me for info! Hope you can come
- HERE IT IS!!! Texas Country Reporter did a GREAT story on my Last Year on the Farm. It recently was re-run on RFD-TV, and now you can see it on YouTube...or click here! e-mail me if this link doesn't work
- YOU ARE INVITED THIS FRIDAY, May 7, to a GALLERY RECEPTION at Whistle Pik Gallery in Fredericksburg, TX from 6-8 pm...but come early, because I have to leave early :)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Blue Cascade

Blue Cascade___8x6 oil study on linen panel___$190 includes shipping
I think the bluebonnets like rocky ground better than nice cultivated or deep dirt...That's what I have always heard, but this year they were thick EVERYWHERE. They and the prickly pear cactus seemed to be tumbling down this rocky outcrop near Llano, TX.
Tomorrow I am going back out to the hill country to paint, photograph and to pick up my farm paintings from the Gallery on Main Street in Marble Falls. It was a nice little show there, and I cannot thank Janey Rives and RB of the famous "R Bar" enough! As soon as you can, go to the RBar and tell RB that V....sent you! They really have great food!
HEY! PLEASE scroll down to see what I posted yesterday. I put the wrong date on it, so when I posted it, it went someplace else...sorry about that! If you are on my GROUP LIST that gets the post in an e-mail, you got this image yesterday...You can sign up for that at the top of the column at right... and be the FIRST to see my work when I post...

Here is some IMPORTANT INFO...especially the YouTube link!:

- June 14 -16 or 17...workshop in Fredericksburg, TX email me for info! Hope you can come
- If you are in the central Texas area, I am teaching a SMALL group for just ONE DAY next week, on Wednesday, May 12. It might be full by the time you see this, but why not try! Email me for info
- HERE IT IS!!! Texas Country Reporter did a GREAT story on my Last Year on the Farm. It recently was re-run on RFD-TV, and now you can see it on YouTube...or click here!
- YOU ARE INVITED THIS FRIDAY, May 7, to a GALLERY RECEPTION at Whistle Pik Gallery in Fredericksburg, TX from 6-8 pm...but come early!!!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Weather on Willow City Loop

Weather on Willow City Loop___6 x 8 oil study on linen panel___Using this study to paint a GREAT BIG one

This week I will post the last of the bluebonnet studies from my treks through 8 counties in Texas last month....well, I will be going out again this week, so maybe I will post some after this week, too! Here is some GREAT INFO:
-June 14 -16 or 17...workshop in Fredericksburg, TX email me for info! Hope you can come
-If you are in the central Texas area, I am teaching a SMALL group for just ONE DAY next week, on Wednesday, May 12. It might be full by the time you see this, but why not try! Email me for info
-HERE IT IS!!! Texas Country Reporter did a GREAT story on my Last Year on the Farm. It recently was re-run on RFD-TV, and now you can see it on YouTube...or click here!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Fishing Spot-Gadsden, AL

Gadsden, AL Fishing Spot___16x20___available at the Gadsden, AL Museum of Art
Last year, I was in Gadsden, AL at the Southeastern Plein Air Festival. Watching this woman sit down to fish, I asked her permission to include her in my painting...she said OK... After spending a couple of hours “with” Michelle (….an artist becomes attached to their subject…) and all that time observing her, and painting her, I had determined that she was Hispanic, but, well, maybe she was African American! I just could not tell….she has the most lovely deep brown skin, made darker by her time in the sun, fishing… so, After a time, I went down to speak to her and supposed I would hear an accent…well, I sure did! She is a Southern Belle! With a thick southern accent as beautiful as can be!...still not sure what her ethnicity is, and I have decided that I like it that way!! It’s time we forget all that tribal stuff…it is good for NOTHING…well, except maybe in and amongst our own families..I am glad my dad was a proud Italian, because it “explains” my own tendencies…and I get to pass on all those great recipes! But I sure don’t expect everyone else to appreciate it like I do!
This week the Southeastern Plein Air Festival is going on without me. My friend, Becky, a Gadsdenite, called me yesterday. She was at this bridge, and remembered me painting there last year. so she called and said "I have a special person who wants to say, "hello"....The voice on the other end was MICHELLE, with her lovely southern accent!...and other artists were there painting again!
Back to bluebonnets tomorrow!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Gadsden Light

Gadsden Light from the Brow___24 x 18___for the Southeastern Plein Air Festival
Last year this time, I was in Gadsden, Alabama, painting in the Southeastern Plein Air Festival. Due to a ball game, SAT test, Prom and a school athletic banquet, I could not go this time, but I worked in the studio from last year's is a painting that I am sending to the Gadsden Museum of Art. They have accepted it to do something special with it...not sure what, yet. It is a view of Gadsden, AL from the "brow", a hill rising above the town. The river is the Coosa River, and I forget the name of the other hill...maybe another brow? Hey Becky! Leave a comment when you see this and tell everyone the name of the other mountain. Last year we had HUGE storms pop up on opening night, and this painting reminds me of when I painted on the brow, and watched the storm roll in.
GO SEE THE ARTISTS' work, bid on a masterpiece and support plein air painting in the Southeast! Wish I was there!