Wednesday, November 25, 2009


State #17. A pretty November day and a quick painting...husband napping in car. I am always amazed at the number of churches in the rural around every at the top of every abandoned ones, either. They are painted and mowed and obviously loved...yes, I think one can love a building. Church parking lots often make great places to pull the car off the road and set up the easel for a painting.

While I was painting this peaceful scene some pigs in a passing car threw a full bag of trash out on the road and it blew all over this lovely little neighborhood. Since we're talking religion... may they go straight to hell.

Lebanon Lutheran Church pastel 9 x 12

Sunday, November 22, 2009

North Carolina

bottom photo by Michael Poster, song by Woody Guthrie

An interesting morning on the French Broad River in Western North Carolina the day after heavy rains gave me a winter picture full of grays & blues & mauves. I'm sure the water was cold. It was certainly rushing down out of the mountains at quite a clip.

The French Broad River got its name because the river flows north toward historically French owned land and because the river is so broad (wide). It is popular with fishermen and kayakers. It is one of only 2 rivers in the US that flow north. It has given it's slightly risqué name to many local personal favorite being The French Broad Chocolate Lounge in Asheville...ah the joys of travel to such exotic locations.... As I've said before, it's a tough job...but somebody has to do it.

An abundance of public land in the Appalachian Mountains adds to the appeal of the Asheville area for painters, too, as well as hikers, skiers, rock climbers. It is a welcoming feeling to know the land I want to set up my easel on belongs to me!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Hampshire

This is an island near the New Hampshire border in the Connecticut River (with Vermont in the background). And another tiny floating grass island in the foreground which kept moving all around during my lovely afternoon painting on the river.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


This is the same view I had each morning when I awoke in Tenants Harbor, ME. The soft deep thumping of the lobstermen's boat diesels would start my day, too. Each day the sky was completely different, but un-mistakenly Maine. This is small; 10x10, completed in a couple of gusty hours one afternoon.
Moral: she who hesitates misses the calm of the morning and has to spend some effort making sure her easel does not become airborne. I use a stone bag which I always carry with me (the stone I can usually find on location) and occasionally have to resort to bunji cords and shelter of a windbreak. Still sometimes a gust will determine where a stroke ends up.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I love old buildings, especially ones with an industrial or agricultural past. To my eyes this little power plant is beautiful. New England values, maybe; work, strength, purpose, grace. I sure had fun painting this little 14 x 11 pastel on a perfect warm autumn afternoon near Medburyville, VT.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


A perfect fall day for spending time on Millers River in western Massachusetts. It doesn't get any better than this for a plein air painter, a few fly fishermen or my favorite photographer smoking a good cigar. We were the lucky ones! This 9 x 12 pastel painting was done using my well-used broken bit assortment of soft pastels on a medium gray Colourfix paper.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Palo Duro Canyon State Park, June 2, 2009. Texas Panhandle.
Not being terribly satisfied with the two vistas I'd painted of the canyon, I turned my attention to the wildflowers which had been drawing me since my arrival. They are everywhere; blanket flower, prickly pears, coreopsis, aster flowered daisies, horsemint and many, many others. The west Texas drought was relieved about a month ago and it rained all 3 days I was there, so I got to see fabulous lightning, thunderhead clouds and gushing "rivers". All this is making for fine wildflower displays. Aren't I lucky?

Thursday, May 21, 2009


In the autumn of 2008 I painted Assateague. The painting and sketching while beach sitting were great! Hope to go back.

Friday, March 6, 2009


My first painting trip to Florida was in 2002 when I drove down to study with Doug Dawson. It was a good trip, he is a great teacher. Doug got me started layering pastels and I am using daily some of the techniques he taught me.

This time I went with my daughter and we delightfully frittered away the better part of a week watching birds around Everglades National Park...All around. I like these two little 9 x 12" pastels. The top one, Captiva Beach is sold.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


In January 2002 on my drive back from Florida it was warm enough one evening to paint out on Jekyll Island. Long cool shadows, warm sky made this a memorable evening's solitary painting.


Monday, January 26, 2009


Southern Arizona is a place I feel at home in and have done quite a few paintings there. This painting, A Perfect Day in the Sonoran Desert was made in 2004 near Tucson and it is SOLD. It is not part of the 2007 Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days project.

Monday, January 19, 2009


In 2006 I made my fourth visit to Hawaii and finally made time for some sketching. (Since it was only pastel sketching and not full-fledged pastel plein air painting I think a 5th visit is in order in the near future.)

My husband and I visited Maui, Kauai and Hawai'i. So there was plenty of sightseeing, a bit of horseback trail riding, botanical garden walking and small snatches of sketching time. The beaches all over the islands are public, with clean facilities, shaded tables and cook-out areas. This is where families and friends meet for morning Kona, afternoon playtime for the toddlers or exhuberant teenage evening gatherings. I think that Hawaii has gotten so many things right that it does not really seem like it is one of the 50 United States. (mixed diverse ethnic populations to universal health insurance) Maybe it is the over-abundance of beauty that makes Hawaiians think they deserve the best!

I took a very lightweight and limited set of pastel pencils with me and an envelope of 9 x 12" sanded pastel papers, one chamois and that was it! I made about a dozen quick little sketches which did not give me the finished product I would normally exhibit...but it did give me a way to explore and learn and "be with" the Hawaiian Islands' landscape. When I visited Costa Rica the following year on a serious painting trip I had a better understanding of how to paint an ocean-scape because of these small sketches. Aloha.


In July of 2008 I was invited to Door County to participate in the Plein Air Festival to benefit Peninsula Art School. It was a wonderful week of painting for me. Most artists were graciously hosted locally... which gave us nothing to do but paint and attend gala evening openings at the school's gallery. It is hard work, but someone's got to do it and I feel that the effort and total focus paid off in the quality and quantity of work I was able to do in one short week. Weather was delightful and the subject matter for me ran from Lake Michigan to glorious flower gardens in full bloom to agricultural lands and old farm buildings. Sales were rewarding and I got to spend the week with Midwesterners - I value manners, reticence & warmth.

This is Nita's Garden painted on the main street of Bailey's Harbor about 7am. SOLD