Saturday, January 30, 2021

Jan 30, Linden Hills Poppy

This Poppy is no longer open, but it was a fun one! And it was another one that was a bit tricky to get a photo of, and I think this one was taken by a staff member and posted to the Poppy instagram site so I snatched it from there. I like the warmth of the wood around the door and the lace of the tree against the sky.  In contrast to the other two paintings, this one is a winter view... but I think there's more to it than the snow so it might not count as a full fledged WINTER painting....

Trickiest part was the tiny word "POPPY" on the door...

8x10 acrylic on wood

Friday, January 29, 2021

Jan 29, Poppy on Grand Ave

And here is the second Poppy store!  And again, I highly recommend going over and just seeing what's available- cute gloves for sure, and awesome scarves!  I need to take a pic of me in the fox dress to show you what I mean- 

It was tricky painting these stores, because there's a lot of detail and you have to figure out what is important and what can be left out- and that will depend on who the artist is too! I'm sure a whole bunch of people could have painted this scene and everyone would see something different. I loved the tree and the lamppost, and also the blue sky reflected in the upper windows, and the sandwich boards out front... oh just all of it! 

I also have to say I found this image on Google Earth after looking at a few others given to me- and I just liked the light in this one and all. Seeing as it is now winter, it's hard to take a photo of a current building and paint it for another season. And for some reason, people seem to prefer to have summer landscapes. for all year round, with winter ones just for the winter time. Though as I type that, I know we have two snow landscapes hanging in our living room... Ah but we're different!

8x10 acrylic on wood


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Jan 28, Poppy on Snelling!

 Yay! My friend Jill is a lovely person who owns the Poppy Fun Fashion stores around town, and her staff wanted to give her a special Christmas present, so they asked me to paint portraits of her stores!  How fun is THAT?! Jill was instrumental in getting me to hang some of my dog portraits at her store on Snelling, which has led to commissions and sales for me, and she is also really good at finding some dang cute clothes- I can't go into her stores without picking up something!  And yesterday I dropped the paintings off for her surprise (which is why I can post them now!) and I had to buy a super cute fox dress~ yup!

SO just in case you're looking for something, Poppy's are open through this weekend and there's a great sale on right now!  Everything is 20-70% off!!! Then they are taking the month of February off to refresh and get ready for SPRING!

This is the one on Snelling~ I love the walker in it!

8x10 acrylic on wood
spoken for!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Jan 26, Be The Light

Goodness, the sun has been amazing! And this is another photo taken by Liz up north in Grand Marais- and yes, I borrowed from Amanda Gordon's amazing inaugural poem... it just feels so true...

Hope you are enjoying the light!

6x6 acrylic on wood

Monday, January 25, 2021

Jan 25, Kitchen Expectations

 This is another old painting from 2006 or so, I think.... It's Gus and Stitch in the kitchen, waiting for something to hit the floor. I do like the weird floor effect, and some of the colors and shapes, but the proportions of Gus (the brown dog)'s nose is just way off, and they both look a little demonic.  This is another one I let the boys take care of for me.  And you may wonder why I'm posting them- hmmm. Good questions. For one thing, I like to use my blog as a way of keeping track of my work, and I'm sure I never posted these before. And for another, its fun for me to pull these up and see them in comparison to the work I'm doing now. I do hope I've improved.

I'm happy to be able to take a look at this pic, but I'm also happy to know the painting is gone.

Some things don't need to stick around...

20x20 acrylic on canvas
no longer in existence

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Jan 24, Good Dog!

 I've never lived with a pug before, though I've known a few. When I was younger, I "approved" of bigger dogs, thinking they were a more "real" dog. After living with smaller dogs, like my beloved English cocker Jojo, and Max's precious jack Russel mix Gus (thank you Rachel!), and our current situation of the terrier mix Salama (my Costa Rican sister's Miami adoption) and our pug, Bunny, I'm realizing the benefits. For one thing, pugs are serious clowns. And they do like to run the show. And not in a mean way, just in a small tank-like insistence...

We all adore this little demon, as Max endearingly calls her. She sleeps with him on weekends, though she makes an occasional foray into our room. I try to discourage this because the cat sees our bed as his and I hate being woke up by squabbles, so Bunny is threatened with "Downstairs!" when she pads into our room in the middle of the night and she quickly scampers back into Max's comforter covered bed.

6x6 acrylic on wood

Friday, January 22, 2021

Jan 22, Contemplation

 I'm reposting this bear because I love it, and because I'm working on a number of commissions at the moment, and am also working on revamping some of my Paint Love classes so we can start a new session in Mid February...

I still absolutely love this piece. It's that way of just sitting, JUST sitting, sitting still. Which is something I am not that capable of. And which is why I'm liking this one again so much. I need to work on stillness, and winter in Minnesota is a great time to practice that, especially when it is below zero windchill and the ground is frozen into dangerous and unnavigable lumps...

This one is called "Contemplation" and I'll cover shipping and tax for you, if you are interested in it! Also, you can always send me monthly payments for ANY of my work, and we'll determine delivery when enough is paid!  If you want one of my paintings, I would love to help you figure out how to have it!

20x20 acrylic on canvas

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Jan 21, Whiskers and Bubbles

We learn more by talking to other people. Whiskers and bubbles aren't usually combined, right? But sometimes we need to have conversations about things we're trying to figure out, and these need to be open and kind conversations, without judgment.  I'm not making a lot of sense, yet... 

I couldn't think of a title for this one, and then I looked at what I painted last, the final touches that made this a complete piece, and those parts were the whiskers and the streams of bubbles, and those little bits are things I hadn't thought of as important until it was pointed out to me that I'd forgotten to include them.

Sometimes someone else can see something we can't. And it may be a good idea to listen!

Ever leave your fly open all day?

6x9 acrylic on wood

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Jan 20, Home Feels Better Now

This is a repost of a painting from a year or so ago, of our house in the winter. I watched the inauguration today and it was actually quite lovely. I was able to get part of Joe's speech, and Garth Brooks' singing of Amazing Grace (my close captioning went crazy at that point) and our 22 year old First National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman reciting her poetry. I admit I was in tears for quite a few bits of this- It looked quite chilly. And really, I was struck by the NORMALNESS of it all, that people were dressed up nicely, wearing masks, sitting apart, and they were LISTENING. To all of it. And it felt like a kind of quiet opening up. 

We've been under such stress for such a long long time. And we've been braced for the worst for a long long time. I had a realization walking down the hall that we can BREATHE now.  Four years is a long time. Max was seven years old back then, and he's eleven now. He's changed a lot. So have we all.

So I am posting this simple, south Minneapolis century old plus home that is still standing, is still loved, is still lived in. Because we are all still here, and we will all be here together.

Thank you!

6x9 acrylic on wood

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Jan 19, The Quiet Below The Surface

I always enjoyed being underwater when I was a kid. I felt safe, enveloped, held, somehow slowed but still moving in three dimensions, supported.  And it was quiet. The incredible noise of an indoor swimming pool during open swim was dulled to a hum. I could even hear myself think.

I hope you are able to find places to be quiet and just think.

I'm not sure what this fella is thinking...

I just finished the bubbles and the hints of shape around his eyes. Man do I love otters!

12x24 acrylic on cradled wood panel (so no need to frame!)

Monday, January 18, 2021

Jan 19, Another Old Dog Painting

 Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day!  I made Max watch "Black is King" with me this morning, and parts of it was so beautiful it made me cry. I wouldn't say I'm a Beyonce fan, really, but that woman is amazing! Maybe I'm a fan now! And I'd also say that isn't the kind of music I usually listen to, though thanks to our local public radio, the Current, I'm exposed to it a lot more than I would have been. I also didn't recognize many of the other musicians she had with her, which seems a bit sad on my part. There was also some parts of the piece where I found myself flinching, because in my white experience, to see groups of black and brown people on the streets of a city in a video is usually followed by violence of some sort. Isn't that sad? I've been programed to feel fear when shown versions of life of people of color. That kinda pissed me off. I need to watch more movies with black and brown heroes, and I don't mean superheroes!

Anyway, this is another painting I let the boys burn a couple weeks ago-  and it feels good to let it go! I learned a lot in painting these works but I'm glad to have them gone.

Black dog Body

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Jan 17, An Otter~ Bubble Joy!

 I've been wanting to paint otters again which is great, because for some reason, people seem to want to buy the otter paintings!

This one is another from the Minnesota Zoo, and I just love the entire expression of his body as he is swooping through the water, and leaving that line of bubbles behind~

6x12 acrylic on wood

Friday, January 15, 2021

Jan 15, The Old Dog

 I cleared out my studio a bit and decided to get rid of some old paintings that were really not anything much except inspiration for other work. This is one of them, kind of the internal memory of my favorite black lab mix ever, my Bingo, who taught me how to paint black dogs just by being one.

I had this up in my second art room at St Mark's School in St Paul, and there's still something about it I like. I'm glad I took a photo of it.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Jan 14th, The Light Thru The Trees

 Okay I'm realizing this isn't the best photo... but it's been a decent day. 

I'll take a better photo tomorrow.

Hoping you have a good one!

11x14 acrylic on wood

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Jan 13, Another Commission!

 I've always kinda liked the number 13, unless it is on a Friday.  I tend to think round numbers (as in ROUND SHAPE, not rounding up to a whole number, just in case you're confused) are luckier for me, like 3s and 9s and 6s... I like those. 

I guess I like other numbers too, like 5s~ they are just fun to draw! Kinda like an S, but sharper!

Anyway, here is another commission that I just mailed off to my patron~ such a fun part of painting!  When you get to send the painting away, so there's room for more!

8x8 acrylic on wood

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Jan 12, Another Commission!

 This is another of the wonderful sweet furry faces I was honored to paint!  And it's been an amazing start of the year for me here, in my creative and colorful little world.  I have a stack of commissions to tackle which is always satisfying and I am SO aware of how fortunate I am that I truly enjoy working with people to paint a work that they will appreciate for years to come!  And I also had some lovely visitors to my studio this weekend (by appointment) to find some new otter paintings for their home. Since I haven't had any of the art fairs last summer or the holiday sales as usual, hosting private viewings at my studio has been a great way to fill in that gap!  Let me know if you are interested in anything I've got on my DPW site and I'll find a way to let you see it~

Thanks all of you wonderful people!

10x10 acrylic on wood

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Jan 10, Another Commission!

 We had a fun and busy day yesterday, with an Art Car Parade we led through our neighborhood! We've had various art cars (or at least, I've had them!) since 2001, when I had my kids paint my first one. We painted hearts and stars on my 91 Dodge Shadow in a grid pattern, with one big design of a heart and star on the hood. I had every kid at St Mark's School in St Paul paint at least one of the squares and it turned out so beautiful, I wish I still had it!

Anyway, it was a delight to drive around our neighborhood, past Max's school and the lake and the skating rink and wave at people and honk horns! I'm so lucky! We're so lucky! Every Saturday there is an Art Car Parade somewhere in the metro area. If you ask me, I'll let you know where!

And this is one of those fun commissions of a fluffy pup!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Jan 7th, Another Commission!

 It's been a foggy day, and my brain has been a bit foggy too- it seems we won't be seeing the sun anytime soon, from my extended forecast on my phone. So I'll do my best to be a bit more sunny in the next few days~

Yawn. Oh, but here is a fantastic dog whom I was lucky enough to paint before Christmas!

10x10 acrylic on wood
spoken for!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Jan 6, Far Reaching Light

Here's a bit of calm, for when the world seems chaotic and insane. There are lakes, there is water, there are waves and wind. The light is there, pulsing on the horizon, and it will return. We do know that. Sometimes it is hard to feel it, but if you can take a deep breath, slow your mind, look at something right in front of you like a ring on your finger or a wrinkle in your jeans. That is now.

We are now. And now is just fine~

This is from a photo taken by my friend Liz W in Grand Marais last week, if you're wondering where it is!

8x16 acrylic on wood


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Jan 5, A Commission

Here's a pup I can post now!  I hear the owners are happy! I'm happy too~ you know how much I love painting pets!

I also had some fun today patching some cracks in our 100 plus old house's walls in our bedroom. I'd been watching to make sure there wasn't any more water damage or anything and finally couldn't NOT do the patching, since I'd found a cute little kit at Ace the other day, where the putty stays pink while you can work it and then turns white when it is dry enough to sand and paint.  You know how that is... when you've been ready to fix something and then have just had enough of the waiting and so you go ahead and do it anyway, even though you might not exactly have enough time to get it totally done... so that's what I did, and as I was finishing up on the ceiling directly over my spot on the pillow, I thought I'd just drop straight onto the bed on my butt and bounce up onto my feet. Easy peasy! 

Except the bed broke.

So now we're spending the evening working to fix it. Our friend Bow made it for me in 2003 when I bought this house. I suppose I should be happy it's lasted this long, with what our family has made it live with!

Enjoy the painting!

10x10 acrylic on wood

Monday, January 4, 2021

Jan 4, Winter Creek

 Obviously I'm not done with the creek yet... just having too much fun!  Snow is so challenging, and amazing- I kinda love the light the most- it is simply magical. It illuminates everything, and there's light bouncing everywhere!

We are so lucky to be in Minnesota!

6x9 acrylic on wood

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Jan 3, Minnehaha Creek With Snow

 Yes, this is the same view again, because there is something about the light on the water I am not done with yet... and I need to keep painting that. I want to get closer to the color I see, and I'm not there yet, thought I am plenty happy with this painting.

And as the pug snores by my feet and I'm posting this piece, I'm also getting ready to return to school tomorrow, virtually.  We are doing a week of all school Distance Learning as a way of making sure we'll all have time to quarantine if we were out of town for the holidays. Which I wasn't. But this is kind of a fun way to be teaching for a week at home, before we jump back into the building and wearing masks and washing our hands a million times a day... so I'll be testing my Zoom stuff in a few minutes here!

Hope you're enjoying the sun wherever you are!

6x9 acrylic on wood

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Jan 2, Winter Walk

 Living in Minnesota has its perks.

One of my favorites is a sunny, snowy day, walking near water. And I can DO that here!  And I can do it today! It started as a foggy strange day, and we spent the morning getting a new TV, which means we spent the better part of the early afternoon struggling to install this TV. Because now-a-days (does that make me sound old?) you can't just plug in your TV and watch it. No. You have to hook it up to your internet and link it to your phone and your iPad and your Netflix account and your Disney+ account and your Amazon Prime account... 


We tend to watch PBS Kids a lot at our house. It took an hour to figure out how to do that. 

Anyway, back to the snow~ I like simplicity. No commercials. Which is why we watch and support TPT and PBS Kids! That wasn't about snow, was it?  So this is another view of my favorite part of the creek there~ plenty ducks were bobbing around but I didn't include them. They kept moving... well, I guess so did the water, right? 

Happy New Year!

9x12 acrylic on cradled board

Januray 1, Snow Shine on the Creek

 When I took the dogs out for our morning walk, it was a bit chilly but sunny and I had an urge to buzz over to Minnehaha creek at Nokomis Ave and take some photos. That was my favorite spot for painting this summer and fall, and I wanted to see what it is looking like in winter.

This is my first winter painting of the bridge there- I'm liking it!

6x9 acrylic on wood