I think Reid said this cabin actually burnt down, and so this is in memory of that place. It looks pretty darn awesome. Can you see the boat to the far left? The reference photo was rather blurry so the details were fuzzy, but that's always fine with a painting because I get to be even more expressionistic than ever! I loved getting the reflections in there, and the sky over those immensely tall trees- beautiful!
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Friday, November 27, 2020
I really am getting a kick out of these places that are real people's homes, where they live! There is a value on something where life happens. I imagine walking up those steps, past those friendly fuzzy fir bushes, tapping on the door with the gentle stucco all around. And there's such a comfortable guard of tall trees behind the house too, those protecting, covering beings. I love trees.
And I am sorry I didn't post anything yesterday, but we were a bit busy, helping mom with her Christmas decorations and eating a turkey dinner in the garage~ it was really sweet, actually. I hope you were able to find a way to celebrate with family. We all watched "It's A Wonderful Life" together last night on Zoom, with the help of Amazon Prime Video- it was fun because we all could talk while watching it~ and I always tear up at certain parts of that movie!
I'm thankful for all of you and for being able to paint too!
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
I know this house quite well, and have had my own share of fun and memories here, and it also happens to be where Violet has spent most of her childhood and recently had her graduation party (outside, safety consciously last summer). It's a great house, with a great room in the back with a fireplace and a friendly big kitchen, and a huge backyard with mature trees, and that lovely birch in the front.
Ah, I do like painting houses I know!
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Here's another fun one, where the light is really important. The cabin is white-ish, so there was a lot of shades of grey I had to create and play with, and then all that hot green, so nice! This could be another place I'd like to spend some time in~ like in that red chair sitting out front!
Monday, November 23, 2020
And here's another lovely Minneapolis home! I love the greens and the sky and the trees and that white picket fence and all the sweet plants and the Adirondack chairs out front~ looks like another place I'd love to walk up and knock on the door and say HI!
I like the low view of this one too, because the house looks so much more dramatic!
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Here's a sweet place in Wisconsin, with a big sky above. I really played around with that sky! It took probably more time than the house, because I kept going back in and needing to adjust it all~ skies are fun!
And so I'm kicking out these last few for the end of November! But if you are interested, I am also painting commissions for people for Christmas gifts too! Be sure and get those to me soon, so I can get them painted before the big day!
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Another sweet little structure in lovely light! Rather irresistible! I like the oars in front there too, and the little shingles and the pot of flowers on the delicate legged stand by the door~ I want to see inside it too!
And here's what Connie, whom I met when she came to take Painting Lessons, says about this little building~
"How exciting that you like it! I grew up with an out house at our wonderful cottage. When we needed a bathroom we built this with a tub that looks out a window for moon Gazing. "
Friday, November 20, 2020
I really love light. Don't you? Like how light makes shadow, how you can see the rest of the world through the shadows?
Do I know what I'm talking about? Maybe... but it's Friday night after a long week, and I'm not sure any more...
I do know that I love the shadows and the light and all that dappling on the front there...,
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Whew! I'm kinda hitting a crunchy time... as in things are happening at work and at home and I'm trying to get a whole bunch of things done without biting anyone's head off, if you know what I mean. I'm feeling like all of us are living in an alternate universe at the moment, with events suspended and new meanings coming at us daily... but I can still enjoy popcorn while Max tells me about more Starwars Lego sets...
SO this lovely house is somewhere on the east coast, I believe, and I'm loving the light and I hope I was able to get a bit of the feel of that time of day, and the glow and reflection from the white banisters and siding... there was just so much fun in there!
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
And this is my friend Donna's house, and she has an amazing garden and I was torn between trying to paint the garden in or trying to put in the beautiful tree so I opted for the tree. It's such a cool house, with a huge wide porch, screened in, and those fantastic pillars with the brick and stucco detail! I've always loved loping up those steps to say hi!
Oh and it is Give to the Max Day on the 20th, which is Friday (right?) so I'll be making at least a $1000 donation to Simpson's Housing on that day because those donations are MATCHED!!! I haven't been paid for all the paintings people have claimed yet, but I trust that we'll at least get up to that grand! So thank you everyone who has bought their painting, and thank you those people who have bid on and won an auction! I believe there is one auction that has not gotten any bids... you can pick that one up cheap!
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
These are the houses of my hometown. Suburban Minnesota. Nice mature trees, big unfenced yards, not many sidewalks to speak of. And this is the house of another wonderful couple of old friends of my parents', and they still keep an eye out for my mom, bringing her communion on Sundays and dropping off dinner for her. They took her out to eat often after my dad died. It feels proper to be painting their house.
It looks like another friendly place. I think that's a little angel sitting on the front step...
Monday, November 16, 2020
Dang, people! Thank you so much! I sent out that note last night and I've got a pile of houses to paint! I really appreciate this! I haven't even actually told Simpson's that I'm doing this project to make a donation... I keep meaning to mention it but then I run out of time.
SO this is Katy's house, and I've been there a couple times- I think the last time was last winter, and we all got to sit around in her living room and listen to a musician by the name of Humbird, which was a lovely and intimate way to spend an evening with a group of people, and I think that was one of the last times I was in a space filled with people.
I can't wait til we can do that again!
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Now, I know I'll get to hang out at this cabin at some point in the hopefully near future! This belongs to my old friend Julie (and her sweetie Jeff) and some day we'll get to hang out on that deck and watch the bear family trot by on their way down to the lake. Isn't it just great? I love the red shutters and that star and the red garage door and everything!
And the snow, and the blue shadows, and the pines, and the sky, and just, yay!
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Friday, November 13, 2020
This is our friendly neighbors' house, across the street from mom, and we've known them ever since we moved into the "new" house, when I was 9. In 1977... so it isn't a NEW house anymore.
They are the nicest people, and help mom out whenever she needs it. Sometimes they'll walk Star, mom's dog, so she doesn't have to wobble down the street.
And today is the 5 year anniversary of my dad's sudden death. Always a strange day. It's been a hard and weird five years. The administration didn't help my grieving process any. It feels better now.
I really like the tree in the front yard in this one.
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Doesn't this look like a house you'd want to go into? Like if you knocked on the door to say "trick or treat" you'd get a full can of pop or a king sized candy bar? Or if you were dropping by for a gathering and had never been there before, and you felt welcome as soon as you realized this was the house?
Something about yellow houses...
Oh, I guess ours is a yellow green, with yellow trim...
So fun to paint this one! Thanks Joy!
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
I really love the light on this one! Isn't it great? And front porches are so friendly, especially open ones like this, where you can sit and swing your legs free...
This is a great time of year to see houses looking kinda like this, with the sun setting earlier and earlier and the windows lit up warm and cosy.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
We went for a walk here on Sunday afternoon. It was just too nice of a day to not do that. And now there is about 4 inches of snow out on our back deck... hmm. This is a Minnesota Fall, isn't it?
I love the Minnesota River Valley- it's wide, open, wet, marshy... there's birds and beavers and rushes and air. Feels like home.
This one is another auction!
Monday, November 9, 2020
I love this photo. Maryanna sent me a couple others, and maybe it's because I saw this one first, but there's something about that bench to the far left, looking out over the view, and the door with the rake and brooms, and being able to see through the windows to the far side, and those pines filling the sky with air~
I love this place and I've never been there!
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Well, I didn't ever think I'd want to paint the White House.
Somehow, my feelings about it have changed... and I like this view. Yes, things can change. Whew!
I have really hated not feeling connected to my leaders, and I've hated feeling embarrassed and ashamed of my country because of the actions of my leaders.
I'm feeling a bit better now!
Okay, I got a bit distracted yesterday and I DID paint this in the morning with my glorious painting crew out back in our driveway where we heard the news and were totally distracted and full and happy and teary and vibrating and feeling ourselves moving in new and freer ways, and then we had a super fun Open Air Art Fair and said hi to many people walking and biking and driving in our neighborhood and then we had family over for a backyard pizza supper and that was great and then it was late and we were worn out and it was time to go to bed and I didn't get Laura's painting posted!
She said she really loves her pine tree behind the garage there, so I hope it worked!
Friday, November 6, 2020
As soon as I saw this photo I was reminded of Andrew Wyeth's painting, "Christina's World" from 1948. And I wanted to see if I could play with the composition and get the same feeling going~ and I like it! That grass expanse with Naldo's attention focussed across to the flutter of the gazebo curtains gives just the right depth...
I'll be making this one an auction too!
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Isn't this the sweetest house? Its one of those ones I couldn't resist wanting to paint! I mean really, cute little pink house, lovely green trees, those chunky soft bricks, and the wide variety of growing things! YES!
Thank you for sending it to me, Susan!
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
I actually know a number of people who live in the Sears building, and I know I was actually in the store way back when it was actually a Sears. And I love the market in there, and have tons of great memories of events there- we had a fabulous art car parade one year when Harrod Blank was in town with the Camera Van, and we had a sew-a-thon fundraising thing one year where each team was given a bunch of recycling and some old clothes and had a few hours to create an ensemble... I think I still have part of it in my closet! And we had several Barebones Parties up there too- such a great building! Mina sent me the photo and said that Harry Waters Jr lives in the apartment with the giant red A... can you see it?
I love Minneapolis! Oh and if you missed Barebones Halloween Extravaganza this year (because it didn't happen) you can visit any of the sites listed on the page here through this Saturday, Nov 7~
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Wendy sent this photo in for me to paint for her friend- I am in love with this cabin! Isn't it the cutest? If any of you have a cabin you'd like to sell me, let me know! I'm looking! Here's Wendy's story~
"So my fellow quilting BFF Cheri has owned her cabin for over 30 years. Originally it was to be a part ownership between her and her sisters, but the sisters backed out, and Cheri decided to go for it on her own and has never looked back. It’s such a cute, tiny cabin, with 3 tiny bedrooms, one of which she turned into her up north quilt studio (note the “barn quilt” at the peak). And it’s bare-bones up there. No internet, no TV. It’s such a big part of the allure, to be away from all the media madness. And I have been lucky enough to spend several weekends in this little gem over the years. Thank you Cheri💜"
Monday, November 2, 2020
So my friend Kris lives up in Cook County on a lake and sent me a lovely pile of incredible photos that made me supremely envious and drooling... and I picked this one for today. I think that may be a paddle board? and I can't quite tell if it is sunset or sunrise, but I'm making this one an AUCTION! and we'll start it at $45 for a starting bid, and you can bid on it for a week!
How exciting! I haven't had an auction in a while!
Sunday, November 1, 2020
So today is the start of November, and also of my HOMEvember project for 2020. I'm needing a space for my head and painting is that for me, and I also love the idea of raising money for a good cause, so all these house paintings are raising money for Simpson Housing Services here in Minneapolis. There are a lot of people needing some help these days, and Simpsons does really good stuff.
SO this is the first house! It is a surprise, I think, for Deb's son, and I'm hoping to keep it that way! I hadn't actually planned a show of these paintings for later this month, so I suppose I can send them to the new owners right away too! Hmmm!
Yes, I feel a little less organized with this project this year than in previous years~ but ah well! We are all doing our best these days, aren't we? And it may not be the best we were able to do a year ago, but we're still doing it!
Be good to yourself!
Thursday, October 29, 2020
You can't have just one Axolotl, I imagine. They seem such cheerful little fellows that it would be sad to make one live alone~ I'll have to ask Rachel more about how well they get along! And painting these two is making me think about getting a couple for my classroom, once we're all back in school... maybe I should ask for them for Christmas!
Oh and I just did a google search, and no you shouldn't have two unless they are older because they can be cannibalistic towards younger axolotls. And you shouldn't handle them because that could damage their skin, but dang! They are seriously cuter than a wombat! And that's saying a lot!
This is Bean!
I loved playing with that nearly transparent skin... ain't she CUTE?!
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
And now, for something completely different!
So my friend Rachel lives in Wisconsin with her husband and a few wonderful dogs and a pair of enchanting axolotls named Sharkey and Bean, and I've been watching this pair on Instagram for a while now, wanting to paint them, and NOW is the time. Aren't they incredible? This is Sharkey, and I am just enamored with his smile~ they have such huge mouths and those sweet eyes are so far apart on that wide forehead with those delicate little hands and that crazy gill mane thing!
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Yes, very clever name, I know...
This was my landscape demo on Saturday for my Paint Love class, and I didn't have to fix it too much... I enjoyed painting the light on the water, and playing with the sky~
Now, this could qualify as part of my HOMEvember project, couldn't it? It's a place, it could be home, and feel like the place that is the most home-like for you~ yes! Send me your photos!
Monday, October 26, 2020
We are going to the MN zoo on Sunday afternoon and I am hoping that the otters will be active. This photo is from a few years ago, and I am really hankering for some otters to paint! I'm also embarking on this year's HOMEvember project (more info HERE) and will be gearing up to paint YOUR Home photos!
As for this critter, it's one of those paintings that I had to make myself STOP dabbing at- I couldn't tell if I'd managed to get the face correct until I stood WAY back and looked, and then I was like "Wow! it WORKED!" which is one of the best places to get as a painter.
Hope you had a chance to enjoy the sunshine this afternoon!
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Here's a pup I've been working on last week~ sweet face! Huge eyes! Which reminds me to let you know that I am always happy to help you with a personal painting of your beloved four-legged friend too~
Just send me an image and check out my sizes and prices on my list here~
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Okay, not the greatest title ever, but I thought this one kinda looked like a potato, and I'm not sure that Otter Tater would work.... though maybe Tater Otter?
I had a much more mentally pleasant day today. I wasn't terrified about the drive home for one thing, since it seemed to be much more seasonal and not the freezing rain we usually have in March which makes stopping not so much of a sure thing as a wish~ so I was able to get home safely and then walk the dogs and paint and make a giant snowball in the front yard with the kid and other neighbors~
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
I haven't painted the otters in a while, and the last time we went to the zoo they were napping. I guess it's time to take another trip there! I've painted from this photo before, but its interesting to do it again because you see different things each time. It's like that saying, you never step in the same river twice. I've had clients ask me to repaint a sold painting and it always turns out slightly different each time. I'm not a photocopier, thank goodness!
And I just needed a little otter-ness today~ I do love snow, the light of it, the change in the landscape. But I wasn't expecting it until closer to Thanksgiving, to be honest, and it feels like a bit of a time warp to have it now. We haven't raked our leaves yet. They aren't done falling off the trees.
But Otters are just the thing- I need a reminder every so often (which is more often these days) that life is meant to be enjoyed and experienced and relished, all the bits of it you can touch and reach, like the water around an otter. We are in it, like it or not, and this is what we got, so love it while you can! It's worth loving, this life~
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Yes, another buck... this one is more velvety~ and I wanted to play with the background a bit too... I'd been reading and thinking about the idea of playing with areas for a bit of spark, trying something a little different. It doesn't actually look that different, I don't think~
I'm also playing with the idea of doing another Daily Painting Project in November for "Homevember", painting people's homes with most of the proceeds for any sales going to the homeless here in Minneapolis. Because there is a huge need... and driving home today through the snow at 4pm, heavy as it was, and slick, and scary, I was worried about the encampments at area lakes, and people attempting to live in tents in this kind of Minnesota weather. We have never had snow this early, in my experience as a living Minnesotan! I think most of us were expecting a little more warm weather. Lots of leaves hidden under the snow...
It is nice to see it though!
Monday, October 19, 2020
Have you ever seen the animated version of Watership Down? And they have that song, Bright Eyes? It's pretty short, and Art Garfunkel sings it in the 1978 version... its one of those songs that yanked my heart into my throat when I first heard it at age 11 in 1978... And this was before Youtube, or Prime Music, or Apple Music, or any of these things where you could find it and hear it over and over. You had to REMEMBER it and listen closely, and then sing it to yourself as often as you could.
Anyway, that song makes me think of this deer... or maybe it's the other way around~
Here's a link to the song for you~
Saturday, October 17, 2020
The water was steaming yesterday as we crossed the bridge over the lake- snow was falling and the water was warmer than the air. I painted this from a photo I took in late August while standing in the lake~ I wasn't sure I could get that repeated pattern feel of the waves, and I believe I managed it!
I'm really pleased with the pink...
Thursday, October 15, 2020
I was able to do some plain air painting last weekend, and this is another one from then. I do find that once I'm back inside, I touch up some areas that I wasn't able to get to outside. The time spent out painting goes really fast! And there's also the quality of the light- it's often crazy bright, especially right now in the fall, at that wonderful crazy angle, getting in windows and under canopies! So once I'm back indoors, some of the parts I thought I'd painted really bright aren't showing up that way and so I need to pop them again.
This patch of the creek had tons of fall leaves in it, under and on top of the water. Since I'm more of an impressionist than a realist, I wasn't trying to get the individual leaves but more the sense of the variety of colors and values I was seeing.
I do love the movement in this one!
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Sunday, October 11, 2020
I hope you were able to get out and enjoy the incredible gift that was yesterday! It's not hard to feel good on a day like that- with the sun blasting at such a dramatic low angle and the trees tossing off fireworks of leaves overhead~ dang! I spent as much of it outside as I could, and my painting crew and I enjoyed the sun angling in under the tent in the backyard during our morning class. SO great!
I had to get out and paint more, so I ran some stuff over to the Goodwill on Nicollet and came back along the parkway, scanning for a likely spot to get close to the water and have some light. There were SOOOO many people out! On bikes and walking dogs and wandering around in the sun, so great!
I found this spot on Minnehaha and 16th Ave which is the bridge I painted here- I've included a shot of my easel. I'm getting really fast at setting that up and taking it down again!
The reflections in the water are just amazing.
And I'm offering this one at half price~
Thursday, October 8, 2020
This one is from a few days ago, and I think it is more iconic than realistic. This wolf lives at the MN Zoo, and there was snow on the ground but I chose to make it a bit pinker than it was in reality... I like that face and those eyes~ intent, focussed...
Just like me today, right? Intent, focussed...
I'm so glad it's Thursday!
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Funny how it can never be so hard that it can't get harder, right?
I suppose it's also true that it can never be so beautiful that it can't get even more gorgeous?
I'm really working to keep my mind on those things I am so grateful for. Smiles and laughter, kindness. An unexpected pile of art magazines and blank panels~ your kid expressing how much he likes spending time with you.
It's that key to shifting your perspective. Dark to light. Heavy to light~ bring it all to the light~
I kinda like this one- they feel a bit more abstract to me, more the way the water felt when I was there painting it~
I'm so lucky!
Monday, October 5, 2020
I did head back to Moir Park, but I was really late today and didn't get to do any painting. This is from last week, and I just had a little bit more I wanted to do to it. So it is done now.
It was lovely to be there, even briefly. Last Monday I had about 40 minutes to paint, and I plopped myself down as close to the creek as possible, scrambling down a bank to set up the easel. And it was a wonderful fall day, with wind and intermittent showers, clouds and sunshine. Love it!
Sunday, October 4, 2020
I needed to paint some more water and am revisiting this series of photos from Duane and Max's trip to Grand Marais this spring. I was hoping we might take a trip next week over MEA, but I can't find anywhere to stay up north... I think more people are staying close to home instead of flying for this break. And we really need a break too.
So here is a bit of a mental break for you, water and rocks and sky~
Thursday, October 1, 2020
I took this photo a month or so ago, while swimming just off the dock on the north end of Lake Nokomis with my family and our lovely neighbors- I think I want to try more versions of it because I am entranced by the shapes in the water and how to properly suggest them... so liquid!
It was an overcast day and the water was warmer than the air- can you tell?
This painting will be at our Pop-Up Art Sale this Saturday, Oct 3 from 1-5! Come on by and pick it up!
Love to see you there!
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Monday, September 28, 2020
This is a tiny island just past Grand Marais on a little road, Croftville Road, maybe- I think it was Elsie's cabins... and there's a little cabin just in front of this place. It is seriously a giant rock with a rickety wood bridge from just behind the cabin, and I felt like I was in a magical place when I stood there in the rain. Grey days can do that.
And the colors of fall always look more intense against the grey. That is part of why I love painting on black, because it just sets the colors off more. There's more power in the color because of having to contend against the dark.
Saturday, September 26, 2020
I've been teaching in my alley driveway for this fall's session of Paint Love, and I am so glad I decided to give it a go. I need to have these mature, creative, fun-loving, kind and generous adults to hang out with and talk art with at least once a week. And all the struggles to figure out technology to include my Zoom people is hard and brain-busting, but their patience and their paintings are so rewarding. I look forward to our classes all week!
Today we painted tomatoes because there were some lovely ripe ones in the garden, and we talked about and practiced the concept of One-Color-Per-Stroke, which is a way to make sure you are looking closely at what you are doing, paying attention to every stroke and how you are placing it onto the panel.
This was NOT my demo, because I don't like that one. I did this one later as everyone else was working and I like it!