Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Ravens At The Pond

Ravens At The Pond.
6x8in oil on canvas panel  $140.
purchase HERE

Artist Note.
I have been sitting 
sketching the ravens
from inside the car
at this spot.
They vanish if I get out.

This is a local ponding 
area for the Pecan Factory. 
The Common Ravens 
stay year round in our area
and LOVE this particular
spot... even
 when there is no water!
I have seen up to 20
at one time, but
there are only 
about 8 ravens 
in this painting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Gambels Quail

Quail - watercolor study.

Artist Note
The quail are all over the place
at the moment,
and they are the neatest birds to watch
with their
bobbing heads and perky steps.

Here are five on the rail of our deck -
there were 8 of them at one time. Fun!
They come for the water as well as the food.
Clever - the water bowl attaches to the rail as you can see.

They are friendly to the other birds at the feeders, 
but the Thrashers do have a bit of 
a dictator attitude and think they
 rule the deck.

I sit and sketch from
inside the window.
pencil and watercolor
They can't see me
due to the reflection of the sky
on the glass..

Quail lay their eggs in a shallow 
depression in the ground. One a day.
They may line it with dead leaves or grass.
No full nest of twigs etc.,
I have seen where they surrounded the eggs 
with stones or lumpy dirt to prevent them 
rolling away. Clever and protective.

I found their their eggs under
a bush in a plant-pot one year

These are those which didn't hatch
out of 14 last year, I love the markings
and have not done a full painting 
of them - yet!
It will soon will be hatching time
I can't wait to see the babies
running in a line behind
mom and dad

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

When a Friend Combines Art Forms

I love it when a friend pushes
the limits and comes up with
something new.
In this case, my friend 
Lisa Graham has achieved just that.
Do yourself a favor and click
on this link.

Lisa generously shares her journey
from inspiration to completion.

I find it interesting that Lisa 
places the video first
on her post
and the finished painting last.
Does that mean video 
will become more important
than the painting?
Only time will tell.

We are fortunate to be watching 
the creative
journey of this artist.

Lisa is a retired RN (young)
and a full time professional artist.
She is a story teller with 
her art and I have followed her blog
for a few years. Always sensing
something very deep and real
about her work, and this latest
venture proves what a true
artist she is... to her very toes!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

American Goldfinch

Goldfinch Demo
8x6" oil on canvas panel NFS
Still thinking about it!

Artist Note.
Friday's class asked for a demo 
to see how I painted a bird.
I painted this from a photo.
I feel some little areas still
need a-tweakin'

The main points
of the demo
were focused on
how to handle the edges
on this light-colored,
softly feathered friend.
Nothing crisp going on here!

I started by painting
the bird's shape with
yellow paint adding the colors
of the background
around it - blending
into the form - 
Wet into wet.
It was easy for them all
to  see the
colors becoming
"friends of their

Full quote by Marc Chagall

All colors are the  friends 
of their neighbors
 and lovers of their opposites

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cactus Wrens

Cactus Wrens
6x8in oil on canvas panel NFS

Artist Note.

I decided to keep this one.

The Cactus Wren is a 
favorite of 
Hard to spot with their 
very effective camouflage
markings when they are
in the desert and nest.

Did you know they mate for life?
Their beak is long for a reason,
they can be quite aggressive,
but the ones I have visit me
are models
of decorum with the other birds
at the feeders.

Happy St Patrick's Day!!
Look what I will be wearing.
A gift from a good friend.
She knows I love fun socks.
Thank you, Gail!

Monday, March 14, 2016



8x6in oil on canvas panel  $140.SOLD

Artist Note.
This is from a photo 
I took in April last year.
Such a sweet scene.

At first
I was attracted
to the reflections 
more than the ducks, 
and then
 the ducklings
came along  and my heart 
did a little bump of

I took the photos 
thinking that as a painting
it would be too much 
on the sentimental side.
today I needed a bit of the
'gooey" area of my heart
and as I am painting birds
at the moment
I went looking for the photos.

Guess what? Cute
and sweet works...
I ended the day 
more relaxed
than when I started.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

For The birds!

For The Birds

6x6in oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note

I was sitting on the patio 
at a local cafe 
and one of these little guys
came right on up to me
and took food right
out of my hand.

Talk about socialized...
and a bit cheeky!

Thursday, March 10, 2016


6x6in oil on canvas panel SOLD

Artist Note.
I may prefer to paint nests but
I have loads of bird pics
and sketches.
I find them totally fascinating
and can watch them for hours,
Anyone out there relate?

I find crows are great to paint 
and somewhat easier too
because of their strong
shape and color. 
This guy is scurrying 
away with his treasure
but, look who is watching him...
Yep, he didn't have it for long!

I have been trying to work 
on a painting of the
American Goldfinch 
I see at my feeders,
but the painting got 
looking too much 
like a greeting card.
Not what I wanted so I
kept scraping it off.
Got a great abstract 
out of it though!
I am going to keep trying.

All my 
American Goldfinch
disappeared overnight.
last weekend - it seems too soon.
(they only winter here)
Wouldn't you know it ...
they left the very day
after I paid big bucks for
a nice quality bag of
 Nyger seed.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Peonies & Strawberries

Peonies & Strawberries
8x6in oil on canvas panel $140. SOLD

Artist Note.
Hot house peonies - 
a gift! 
In a vase my mother made.
Loved painting it.
Did another in watercolor too.

I have a workshop 
coming up here in 
Las cruces, NM.
June 7-9 with a 
wrap up morning on the 10th
Contact me if you are interested.
I can promise a fun, 
productive workshop
with lots of individual

I was honored by a request from
Marcela Strasdas to 
show my tip of using 
a piece of glass to test out
any changes.
I did a step by step of an 
Santa Fe adobe building
see link

Marcela wrote a great post 
with clear photo steps
which I think showed 
the advantages clearer 
than my post did...
so hope you follow the link
to her version.