Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On to Similkameen!

Klipchuk, Highway 20. Oil on Canvas. 16 x 20.

I've started painting the Similkameen series and what better way to start than with a painting of the road between my home and the Loomis?

Actually, this is the road home, heading west on Highway 20, just past Klipchuk. The fall colors were starting and a storm was coming in. It was soft and beautiful.

This is my first post in more than a week. I've been delayed by politics. My husband is running for the Whatcom County Council (he was on for 8 years and loves it) and I've been helping out with mail pieces and TV and voter lists. Another kind of creative work but now that's drawing to a close.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Three Red Pears

Three Red Pears. Oil on Linen on Board. 6" x 8".

Two star crimson pears and one red bartlett on the windowsill of my studio.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Window in the Red Building

The Window in the Red Building. Oil on Canvas. 16" x 20".

This is the painting I started in August during Bellingham's Plein Air Paint Out. I finished it up in my studio this week.

Years ago I'd worked in the building across the alley selling kitchen cabinets. When times were slow I'd gaze out the window and look at the window. Whoever lived there had plants - really an entire garden - on the windowsill and fire escape and I loved the look of it. The green plants against the red brick with the white curtain. I never saw anyone there but it was well tended. I would sketch the building and think what a great painting it would make.

I worked on it for hours yesterday and then this morning Sharon Kingston, an exceptional local artist, came over and helped me out with a critique. I tightened things up in a couple of areas and it's done and ready for the show!

The show? November 6th, Blue Horse Gallery, downtown Bellingham, 6 p.m. See you there!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I'm back from my painting trip to Loomis. It was fantastic but oh so cold!

I arrived Sunday afternoon, settled in to the lovely home I was staying in, then walked up the road above the house. This is the view as the sun was setting. Yes, gorgeous.

Before bed I walked outside again and the stars literally took my breath away.

Monday I woke up early, discovered the amazing latte machine in the kitchen, had about 4 lattes, then headed north. It was about 20 degrees out - much too cold to paint outdoors. I drove all day, stopping every few minutes to take photos. I drove to Oroville, to Molson, to Chesaw, then back to Oroville again. The most beautiful stretch was the Similkameen River along the Loomis to Oroville Road.

That stretch will be the focus of my next series - along the Similkameen.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Painting Trip!

Similkameen. Oil on Canvas. 40" x 36."

I'm leaving today on a painting trip to the Similkameen River valley in northcentral Washington. There's a brief window of opportunity where the weather and my schedule are both clear so I leave this morning to drive across the North Cascades Highway, through Mazama, Okanogan and up towards Palmer Lake and the Similkameen River.

The painting above I finished a month or two ago. It's an aerial view of a remote and spectacular area in Washington State where Conservation Northwest and the State of Washington are working together to keep the existing ranches on the land. The alternative is second home development which harms the otherwise fantastic wildlife habitat.

I'm taking Sam, my dog, thinking that if she smells a bear or a cougar she'll alert me by hiding behind my legs. No web, no cell phone. It should be a quiet and wonderful 3 days away!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Red Pears 4

Red Pears 4. Oil on Gessobord. 6 x 6.

I tracked down more red pears. They have such a great color.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Peppers

The Peppers. Oil on Gessobord. 5" x 7".

I confess, I had doubts. When my husband first planted the pepper plant I scoffed. Actually I pulled it out because he put it in my front windowbox. He then planted it in the garden by the beans.

And the plant grew! And the peppers grew! And in our record-breaking hot, hot summer it ripened. Now I'm a believer. So this painting is for Dan.

3 more figs

3 Figs 3. Oil on Linen on Board. 6" x 8".

And another fig painting!

3 Figs 2

3 Figs 2. Oil on Linen on Board. 5" x 7".

Time is short, and fig season is almost over, so I'll post a couple of fig images here. I painted them yesterday.

I also opened a new big tube of titanium white paint, Sennelier. I love the thicker texture.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Whatcom Artists' Studio Tour

Photos top to bottom: Marisa Papetti, Kelly Hart and her son Matt with my pumpkins standing in nicely for me.

Tiny snail on Caroline Kinsman's grape. She almost ate it!

Aronia Berry ice cream from Mallard's out at Cloud Mountain Farm.

No painting today. Instead I went on a tour of artists' studios in Whatcom County. Marisa Papetti was kind enough to invite me along and at around 11 this morning Kelly Hart and her son Matt picked me up.

Marisa is the owner of fifth on sixth, a roving art gallery in Bellingham. Kelly is the Executive Director of Allied Arts. Matt is working hard at reaching the next level in a fun electronic lego game.

Our first stop was at Brian Kerkvliet's glass studio. Beautiful glass. My favorite were the goblets. Next we went to Tommy Gibson's photography studio. He has some great black and white photos taken near the Palouse, one of my favorite areas.

I especially loved what we saw at Brian O'Neill's clay studio. Marisa bought a vase that was stunning: a slightly rough charcoal gray exterior with an ochre interior. I love the way the light hits the ochre rim. Fabulous find! If it disappears from her living room, she'll know where to find it.

At that point we joined Caroline Kinsman on her Bellingham Whatcom Tourism Commission tour for travel writers and photographers from across the U.S. They asked for local artists to join them so Marisa and I hopped onboard the van and Kelly and Matt met us at the next three stops: Applewood Farm Studios, Vernon Leibrant's turned wood bowl studio, and Cloud Mountain Farm. These three stops were spread out along Cabrant Road at the base of Sumas Mountain. There was fierce wind blowing from the Frazier Valley in Canada and it was cold but a beautiful, clear day.

The bottom photo is of Mallard's Ice Cream. They make ice creams out of the unusual fruits grown at Cloud Mountain Farm. This is Aronia berry ice cream with Cornelia Berry ice cream at the top left. Both were incredible.