Thursday, October 29, 2020

Bean Hangs Out

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?!

6x6 acrylic on wood
Unless you are Rachel!  Then just text me!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Sharkey's Smile

 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!

Too fun!

6x6 acrylic on wood

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Sunset on the Rocks

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!


8x8 acrylic on wood


Monday, October 26, 2020

Otter Up!

 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!

10x10 acrylic on wood

Sunday, October 25, 2020

A Commission!

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~


8x8 acrylic on wood

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Otterly Bent

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~


6x6 acrylic on wood

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~

6x12 acrylic on wood

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Velvet Gaze

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!

6x6 acrylic on wood


Monday, October 19, 2020

Bright Eyes

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~ 

Your welcome!

6x12 acrylic on wood

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Nokomis Waves

 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...

6x12 acrylic on wood

Thursday, October 15, 2020

10/14 Fall at the Creek

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!

6x12 acrylic on wood

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


 This is one that I've been wanting to get to for a while... that face and those little nubby bits!

8x8 acrylic on wood

Sunday, October 11, 2020

10/11 Minnehaha and 16th

 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~

10x20 acrylic on canvas
usually this would be $400, 
but because I'm loving painting these scenes, 
I'm dropping this one to $200!

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Rose Wolf

 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!

6x6 acrylic on wood

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Music of Nine Mile Creek

 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!

6x12 acrylic on wood

Monday, October 5, 2020

Moving Water

 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!

6x12 acrylic on wood

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Windy Rocks on Superior

 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~

6x12 acrylic on wood

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Lake Nokomis Under My Chin

 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!

6x12 acrylic on wood