Friday, December 26, 2014


"Friends", acrylic on canvas 12" x 12"
At the farmers' market I saw two families have a chance reunion.  These girls were so delighted to see each other they did a little happiness dance!

Saturday, December 20, 2014


"Bobo", acrylic on canvas 12" x 4"
Bobo is a sweet little bear I've had since childhood.  For some reason his expression has always reminded me of this wonderful self-portrait by Rembrandt:

"Rembrandt Surprised", etching by Rembrandt van Rijn

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


"Buddies", acrylic on canvas 8" x 10"
I'm just a kid at heart.  Love my toys!  I'm entering this one in the Epperson Gallery's "From the Heart" exhibit.  Will post again if it's accepted. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Mandalas

"Little Mandalas Two", Watercolor on Canvas

"Kaleidoscope", Watercolor and Acrylic

"Butterfly Mandala", Watercolor

I love color.  Can you tell?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Snowflakes and Mandalas

"Two Snowflakes", Ink and Watercolor, 6" x 4"

I love the beautiful, intricate design of snowflakes (not that I've ever seen one in person.)  Thought I'd invent a couple in cool, wintery colors.
"Little Mandalas", Watercolor, 6" x 4"
Here's a group of little mandalas inspired by snowflakes, flowers and radiant light.  It's so much fun drawing these geometrical designs and playing with color schemes to give each one its own personality.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Blog Hop Around the World

"Red, White and Blue Mandala", watercolor

My friend Kaethe Bealer invited me to participate in an artists' "Blog Hop Around the World" by posting my answers to the following questions.  To keep the "hop" going I'd like to invite artists Robin Purcell and Chris Carter to do the same on their blogs, if they're interested.  Cheers!

1.  What am I working on?

I'm working on a series of little watercolors playing with color and design, inspired by a recent workshop with Chris Carter.  So fun working with watercolor again!  I'm finding the mandalas are a great way to wake up my brain and start thinking in new directions.

2.  How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I love vibrant, expressive color.  Although I usually start with a realistic drawing, my colors come from the heart.  I also love structure, and I try to pare things down to their essentials.  A lot of my paintings, especially my landscapes, become a mosaic of simplified, streamlined shapes -- almost an abstract.  I like letting the lines of my drawing show through to create a kind of unifying framework.

3.  Why do I create what I do?

I've always loved to draw and paint -- it just feels good.  My favorite subjects are simple, familiar things like tools and toys, old buildings and trucks, farmers' markets and local landscapes.  I also love drawing people and feel very lucky to belong to a local group where we sketch beautiful costumed models every week.

4.  How does my creative process work?

When the weather's good I paint plein air in our local orchards, parks and classic delta towns. I'm kind of a slow painter, so I usually get the bones of my painting blocked in on-site, then finish it at home in my studio while listening to classical music.  In colder months I work in my studio painting from my field sketches, photos, still-life set-ups, memory and imagination.  I always start with a drawing and then begin adding color in layers, letting the painting tell me what it wants as the pieces come together.

Friday, December 5, 2014


"Rose Dala", Ink and Watercolor, 10" x 10"

I took a wonderful workshop with artist Chris Carter a couple of weeks ago, and she has completely inspired me! Chris coined the word "dala", a spin-off of the mandala concept.  In a dala you start with a circle, swing a few "strings" to divide it into organic zones, then plunk yourself down and begin to draw, twisting and turning the elements of your subject as you move your way around the circle.  I did this drawing during the workshop in the rose garden at the Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center in Santa Rosa, and finished painting it at home.  Part of Chris's challenge was also working with a limited color palette for unity and harmony.  This painting was a joy to create.

"Dala Dala", Ink and Watercolor, 10" x 10"
One of my treasured possessions is a Swedish Dala Horse toy my mom gave me.  Here he is as the star of another dala painting.  Although the toy is actually red-orange, I chose this color scheme to convey a peaceful, Christmas feeling.