Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.
and hopes for peace, joy and good health
in the New Year.

(This is a photo from my back garden)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

DSFDF Annual Portrait Challenge 2009

'Petra Lange'
DSFDF Annual Portrait Challenge 2009
Oil 8 X 8

I am so glad that I participated in this challenge. I
was worried about the time factor considering what time
of year it is, but it was so nice to have something like
this to pull me away from all of the holiday hustle
and bustle.

If you would like to see more of my work, please
feel free to go to my web

Saturday, December 19, 2009


We had just shy of 10 inches of snow here at 4:30
this afternoon. If you can see the pumpkins on
the posts for my garden fence, those white things
aren't stems, but snow peaks!

And the snow continues...

DSFDF Annual Portrait Challenge 2009
Stage 3

The light gave out on me, so I had to stop for the day...
modelling the shapes, and trying to keep a likeness without
getting overly detailed.
Tomorrow I will be right back at it!

DSFDF Annual Portrait Challenge 2009
Stage 2

We are having a massive snowstorm here today, and so I am homebound and painting, and loving every minute of it! Here is what I have done so far. I am going to take a lunch break, then come back to work.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DSFDF Annual Portrait Challenge 2009

I have just started working on my DSFDF Portrait Challenge. We got our pictures last week, and although we are not told who our subjects are, I am almost certain I
know who I am painting :) This is the first time I have participated in the portrait challenge, and I am already having a blast!

Here's my first stage. I cropped my photo, then drew a grid on my canvas before starting to draw the face in. I loved the eyes in the photograph, and really want them to be accentuated in the actual painting.

What fun!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Landscape Commission - Final

"Name to be determined"
12 X 16 Oil on archival canvas board

Today I finished this painting! It was such a
pleasure to work on. When I first saw the
photographs of this place, I instantly got that
little tingle at the back of my neck that I refer
to as my 'great painting material meter'! There
just were so many elements about this place that
I love to paint: the cabin, dappled sunlight, split
rail fence, wildflowers...
Thanks again to everyone for your comments.
I will be posting this up on the
don't feel as though you have to comment both

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Spring Pastoral

Spring Pastoral
Oil 6 X 8 on archival canvas
Painting available on eBay

Painted this one last evening from
photographs I had taken early this
past Spring. I was really attracted to
the contrast of the red feeder with the
green grass, and of course the cows
were watching me while I was taking
the pictures!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Landscape Commission - Step 5

Almost finished! Have some glazing I want to do once this is dry, then will see if any more bright spots have to be attended to. So much fun to paint the wildflowers, but I really had to restrain myself - especially since my client sent me a different picture of them at their peak, which was nothing but a gorgeous riot of color (future painting...).
I've really appreciated your comments along the way. Working with this limited palette (prussian blue, alizarin crimson and cadmium lemon) was a challenge, but so educational in terms of mixing the different colors. Even though I have worked with limited palettes before (the Zorn palette...), I really learned a lot from this one. I was truly amazed at the range of colors I was able to mix. You really don't need any other colors but the prmaries and white!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Landscape Commission - Step 4

Working along, playing the lights and darks against each other so that I can keep the look of dappled sunlight. I am itching to start painting in the wildflowers, but I have to exert some patience...not always an easy thing for me to do!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Landscape Commission
Step 3 - Building up the darks

Got up early this morning to take advantage of the sunshine and natural light to work on this painting. At this point I am working on establishing the dark areas that I will need to make the little sunny patches in the painting sparkle. Decided to use a limited palette of prussian blue, alizarin crimson and cadmium lemon. I am loving the subtle greens that are coming from this palette, and know that that using the limited palette will add to the unity of the piece.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Palette Knife Study

It's been over 25 years since I did a painting with anything other than paintbrushes. When my cousin Diane very thoughtfully gave me a Dick Blick gift card, I decided it would be the perfect time to get some painting knives and give this a try again.
This is a small (6 X 8) oil study. The most difficult part of the process was that I kept thinking in terms of how I would use a brush...but definitely started to feel my way toward the end.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Winter Moon
6 X 8 Oil on stretched canvas

Had trouble sleeping last night, so I got up and painted this little painting that I may be using for this year's Christmas card.

Landscape Commission
Work In Progress - Stage 2

This is the second stage of the landscape painting I am working on. In this phase of work I am blocking thin layers of color in, keeping them the same value (lightness or darkness) as the underpainting.
I also start to do some refining, without getting into a lot of detail. I shifted the fence over to the left because I felt it was too centered. Think this works much better.
At the end of my painting session, I take a palette knife and lightly skim over the painted surface to remove any thick spots of paint. I want to keep this layer thin, and save the thicker, more textured paint for later on in the process.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Landscape Commission
Step 1 - Underpainting

This is a landscape commission I have started working on recently that is of a log cabin in Wyoming. The light will be filtering in through the trees on the left, creating some great sunny areas as well as deep shadows. In the foreground grasses, there are many summer wildflowers, which I am am really looking forward to painting!
There is a rocky run-off area that starts just off center at the bottom of the canvas, and curves slightly left before disappearing. The fireplace is stone. It's a gorgeous place, and holds lots of happy family memories for the owners.
There may be a glimpse of a log cabin workshop behind the left side of the cabin - checking with my client to see if they want that there (my notes were taken months ago, and are not clear in that area :( )
I thought it would be interesting to post my process in steps. This is the underpainting, which maps out the dark and light areas. Doing this first helps nail down composition as well as the values and is very helpful when starting to block in color. In this particular painting, my underpainting is more detailed than I would normally have because I want the client to get a good idea what this will look like at the onset.
See you when the next step is complete!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Portrait of Jenna 9 X 12 Oil on linen
Almost done!

I think I am almost finished with my portrait of Jenna for the Wet Canvas Portrait Swap. We are working from photographs, so I really checked some measurement and did some refinements and feel that I have gotten a better likeness of her. Will put this out of sight until the middle of next week, then I will give it another look to see what else needs to be done. This has really been a great learning experience, and also a lot of fun!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Different Strokes from Different Folks
Airport Travelers Challenge
'Traveling in a Pack' Oil 6 X 8

Whew! Barely got this done in time before the challenge finishes. When I saw Karin Juick's reference photograph for this challenge, it took me back to the days of traveling for my work with the federal government...rushing to get to the airport in time (and that was before 9/11), layovers, jet lag when traveling to the west coast. As we would be rushing through the airport to catch our flights, it always made me think of our group as being a pack of wolves...sticking together with the Alpha in the lead. So here's my interpretation of the DSFDF Challenge for Weeks 52- 54.
Just to let you know how serious I was about this challenge (and to give you a laugh), I actually went out and purchased miniature toy wolves so that I could approximate their body shape and color. Then I placed the toys on the floor and used my mini maglite in a dark room to shine down on the toys so that I could determine the shadow shape. A bit difficult holding the maglite in one hand, and sketching wolf shape and shadow shape with my other hand!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Portrait of Jenna 9 X 12 Oil on linen
Work In Progress

I have been participating in the Wet Canvas Portrait Forum annual portrait swap. We get paired up with another participating artist, and do each other's portrait. I got a terrific partner in Jenna White, and you can check out her beautiful artwork on her website and blog.
I thought this would be great practice for doing something I am very interested in - portraiture. Not from a business aspect, but because I really want to paint my granchildren while they are small, and I know that the more practice I get, the better I'll be able to paint.

This is almost done. Have a few more things to do, then I will post the final.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spring Goose 8 X 10 Oil

Early this Spring, I went out with some fellow artists to capture some of that spring blush on the landscape - those beautiful colors that appear before everything starts to turn green. We stopped at this shallow springs, and a goose hopped into the water from the edge of the bank where he had been restinig and started to swim toward us. Made for some great photos! I am sure he thought we had some food for him...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hedge Rose

"Hedge Rose'
Larne, Ireland
6 X 6 Oil on canvas
$90.00 plus $6.00 shipping

Just had to do another painting of Ireland from Bill Guffey's current Virtual Paintout challenge. I loved that this view had the hedges dividing up the fields, as well as the hedge rose. Also liked that I found an area that had some sunshine and a lake!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sheep in the Meadow

'Sheep in the Meadow'
Newton Abbey, Ireland
8 X 8 Oil on Canvas
$125.00 plus $6.00 shipping

This is a painting done for Bill Guffey's Virtual Paintout Challenge, using Google maps. The view is from the Castle Road in Newton Abbey, North Ireland, and is my first submission to Bill's online challenge.
I have to say that there were so many beautiful landscape views that it made it difficult to settle on just one!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rockville Bridge
Susquehanna River, Harrisburg PA

'Rockville Bridge'
9 X 12 Oil on archival linen board
$200.00 plus $10.00 shipping

This is a very old railroad bridge that spans the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, PA. It is just upriver from my previous post 'Early Fall Along the Susquehanna'. I was lucky enough to see a train crossing the bridge while I was taking reference photographs for this painting. I actually took the photos while we were crossing the river over the George Wade Bridge, and was amazed that the pictures came out so well!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Different Strokes From Different Folks City Rooftops Challenge
My Homage to Rene Magritte

'My Homage to Rene Magritte'
6 X 8 Oil on archival canvas board
$130.00 plus $6.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

Back in the 90's, I was fortunate to see an exhibit of Rene Magritte's work at the MOMA in NYC. It was exceptional. When I saw Karin Jurick's photograph for the DSFDF City Rooftops Challenge and the distant view of the city, I immediately thought of some of my favorite Magritte paintings in which he portrays both day and night in the same painting. Hope you like this, and if you look around the painting a bit you might see a very tiny image that Magritte was famous for...kind of like "Where's Waldo", but according to Magritte!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Early Fall Along the Susquehanna

'Early Fall Along the Susquehanna'
6 X 12 Oil on archival canvas board
$175.00 plus $10.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

Yesterday I painted this picture of the Susquehanna River and the George Wade Bridge. The leaves were just beginning to change, so it was nice to have spots of bright color in the large areas of green. The receding blues were really attractive, and I enjoyed playing with the colors and values to get the depth in this one.

Day Lily Farm

'Day Lily Farm'
8 X 10 Oil on archival canvas board
$175.00 plus $10.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

This Summer, the group that I paint with outdoors went to this Day Lily Farm in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. I never saw so many different colors and varieties of day lilies. The home and the barn were made of this rich, brown stone - it was difficult to settle down and find just one location to paint. I decided on this view of the house, greenhouse and outbuilding because of the flowers growing amongst them, and also because I really liked the ladder leaning up against the tree.

A View of the Garden (Kings Gap State Park)

'A View of the Garden'
8 X 8 Oil on archival canvas board
$150.00 plus $10.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

This is the painting I did while attending the Kings Gap State Park Garden Harvest Day. Because of the rain and nice weather we had this past Summer, the flowers were still gorgeous even though it was early October. Had such a good time that day!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kings Gap Garden Harvest Day
Plein Air Painting and Art Exhibit in the Mansion

Today, four of the artists from our plein aire group and I painted on site in the gardens of the Kings Gap State Park here in Pennsylvania during the Garden Harvest Day festival. It was a gorgeous day, and because of the mild Summer we have had, the flowers in the garden were still quite beautiful. Lots and LOTS of people attended the festival, so there were lots of interesting comments and questions for the artists. I have to say that I especially enjoyed the little ones and their candid remarks!

In addition to painting, we also had an exhibit of other plein air paintings we have done of the park. It was held inside the mansion during the festival, and was very well-attended. Thanks to everyone for helping this come together. Pat Putz, I appreciate all the effort you put into getting this whole idea off and running - thank you so much for everything you did. Thanks to my daughter Amanda, who helped me set things up in the mansion on Saturday. Mary Beth, the name tags were a great idea! And special thanks to my husband for staying in the mansion to manage the exhibit, allowing us all to paint outside!

Here's a picture of me starting to block in my painting.

Ralph Hocker just started, and he's almost done already! He was working on a support that he had initially painted an intense red, and it really made all of the greens he was using in his painting sparkle.

Pat Koscienski, Sue Gray, and MaryBeth Brath found a perfect area that allowed them the choice of painting the lily pond, or the old Kings Gap Water Tower.

Lyn O'Neal's paintings and my paintings(the four on the right) on exhibit at the mansion.

Paintings done by MaryBeth, Ralph and Sue. MaryBeth's are the four paintings on the left. (When I saw her painting of the older gentleman on the bench, I was quite impressed because that same gentleman walked into the mansion this morning as I was setting up the exhibit, and although I had never seen him before I recognized him immediately in her painting!) Ralph's paintings are the four in the middle (we think he got at LEAST three offers on his painting of the Kings Gap Water tower), and two of Sue's beautiful watercolors are on the right.

Pat's gorgeous acrylic and oil paintings are on the right, and Sue's other two watercolors are slightly visible on the left.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Future Naturalist

'Future Naturalist'
9 X 12 Oil on stretched canvas
$175.00 plus $10.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

Haven't posted in awhile. There's been so much going on - most of it just life in general! I am getting ready for a plein aire event at the Kings Gap Nature Conservancy tomorrow. I will be painting on site in the gardens with some fellow artists, and we will also have paintings we've done of Kings Gap on display in the mansion during their Garden Harvest Day festival from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M.

I was working on my 'Down the Garden Path' painting when I noticed one of the other artist's son looking for frogs in the pond. Took some photos, and then worked on this one at home. If you look closely, you will actually see a tiny frog on one of the lily pads!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thank you very much to Dominique Eichi for including me in her selection of art bloggers for this award. Please go check out her blog and the other recipients of the award!

I am going to pass this award along to seven other artists for their impressive art blogs.
Also, here are 7 things about me that you might be interested to know:.

1. I don't understand how anyone can be bored!
2. I love my family, my friends and my cat.
3. I am horrible at directions because I am always looking for beautiful scenery to paint, or just to enjoy.
4. My grandkids make my heart smile.
5. I am so thankful for the gift of my art.
6. I love to teach and pass on my love of art.
7. I absolutely love Peppermint Patties :)

Here are 7 people whom I think really deserve this award - please check out their great blogs:

Kathleen Harrington for her beautiful artwork and her kind spirit.
Lyn O'Neal for starting her blog!
Pat Koscienski for her phenomenal imagination .
Anne C. M. Campbell for her painting 'Heaven', and all of the other lovely paintings on her site.
Kim Ratigan for her amazing animal paintings.
Linda Blondheim for her exquisite landscape paintings.
Karen Reitz-Green for her wonderful talent and luscious use of color.

List 7 things about you and pass it along to 7 Kreativ bloggers
These artists are so fabulous go check them out .

Thanks again, Dominique!

Gourd Study I

'Gourd Study'
8 X 8 Oil on stretched canvas
$120.00 plus $10.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

I had some really interesting gourds growing in my garden this Summer, and have anxiously been waiting to paint them. Here's one of the bumpy little fellows that I chose to paint first.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One Purple Sprinkle

'One Purple Sprinkle'
6 X 6 Oil on archival canvas board
$99.00 plus $6.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

A new project from Karin Jurick and her Different Strokes from Different Folks challenges! This has been so much fun, and I really have enjoyed seeing all the different paintings that have been created.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Peeps (Work In Progress) 11 X 14 Oil

This is a painting in progress. Was standing along the Yellow Breeches one day doing some plein air painting when this mother duck and her babies came paddling by. I was so glad that I had brought my camera with me! Want to add more color and reflective qualities to the water, and do a little more work on the ducklings.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Millers Island

'Millers Island'
6 X 8 Oil on archival canvas board

I just got back from a trip to Maine. Talk about a little piece of was wonderful to get up each morning, make a cup of coffee, then go sit out on the dock and watch the sun rise...all to the haunting calls of the loons. This was the only plein air I got done on the trip (did manage a few watercolor sketches for future work). I was having so much fun kayaking through the Serpentine with my daughter, splashing around in the water and painting with my grandkids, fishing and taking boat rides with the whole family. We managed to get to Camden, Freeport and Acadia...have so many pictures to go through, and the possibilities for future paintings are endless.
Now it's back to the real world...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Flowers from My Garden

'Flowers from My Garden'
6 X 8 Oil on archival canvas board
$125.00 plus $6.00 shipping

Last evening I decided to do a painting of some of the flowers in my garden. It was late when I started - around 6:30, so I had to work really fast. I thought the orange zinnias were really pretty in among the softer colored flowers.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

07/29/09 - 08/12/09 Different Strokes from Different Folks Challenge

'Terror Lurks'
6 X 8 Oil on archival canvas board
$110.00 plus $6.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

Karin has really given us some challenging photographs to work from for the Different Strokes from Different Folks challenges, and this was no exception. I was considering letting this one pass, but then realized I was being a total wimp. Fortunately an idea popped into my head that would make it just a little bit different, and then I really started having fun!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer Hay

'Summer Hay'
6 X 8 Oil on archival canvas board
$165.00 plus $6.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

This has been such an idyllic summer. The colors seem more intense, the air seems so clear, and with all of the rain we have had, green rules the landscape! I wonder if I am just appreciating it more because I've been able to spend more time this summer plein air painting? Here's my work from yesterday - bales of hay sitting out among all the different shades of green.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ten O'Clock Break - DSFDF Challenge

'Ten O'Clock Break'
6 X 8 Oil on archival canvas board
$125.00 plus $6.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

Another great subject to paint for Karin Jurick's Different Strokes From Different Folks Challenge. It was an interesting project in many ways - getting the posture of the gentleman, focusing on values and shapes, working on skin tones. The entries so far have been amazing, and you can see them on Karin's DSFDF Blog .

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Down the Garden Path

'Down the Garden path'
9 X 12 Oil on archival canvas board
$225.00 plus $10.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

Talk about bliss... Yesterday I went to the Kings Gap Nature Conservancy to plein air paint in the gardens. The weather was gorgeous, and while I was there I saw hummingbirds flitting through the flowers, frogs and dragonflies in the nymph stage in the pond (which is further on down this path), and a wide variety of bees, butterflies and beetles. My idea of paradise.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


6 X 8 Oil on archival canvas board
$135.00 plus $6.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

Just finished this today. If I were to pick a place to sit and rest, and contemplate life - this would be where I would go.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


6 X 8 Oil on archival canvas board
$125.00 plus $6.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

This is my entry for the 6/24/09 - 7/8/09 Different Strokes from Different Folks challenge sponsored by artist Karin Jurick. This was a good opportunity to work with water, and a figure.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Group Picture - 2009 Gettysburg Fringe Festival Plein Air Painters

Thanks to Glenn Souders for making sure we got a group photograph taken at the exhibit last Saturday evening. It's a nice reminder of the great time we had painting together! (Not pictured: Susan Gray, Dianne Lorden, Dorothea Barrick and Susan Remmers).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Something New...Rose Fantasy

'Rose Fantasy'
6 X 6 Oil on archival canvas board
$100.00 plus $6.00 shipping
Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this painting

Have been feeling a bit tired after the Gettysburg Festival Plein Air Paint Out, so I decided to stay home today and work on something small. I had a blast playing with the colors in this one, and am pretty happy with the end result.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

FINAL POST - 2009 Gettysburg Fringe Festival Plein Air Paint Out

Plein air painting on the Gettysburg Battlefield was an incredible experience I will not soon forget. Over the past nine days of painting and making new friendships with some very talented artists, learning more about the battle of Gettysburg from the tour guides, talking to interested observers, and fighting off bugs and heat, several thoughts came to mind.

First of all, many thanks to Mary Beth Brath and Peter Plant for organizing this entire event, and then for pulling it all together for a fantastic exhibit. It takes a lot of thought and effort to make this work successfully, and you both did an amazing job. (Pictures from the exhibit will be further down this entry).

I also want to thank everyone who has followed the progress of this plein air event on my blog, all the folks at Wet Canvas who have followed this event's daily progress and have provided so many kind words and encouragement, and also thanks go to the people who read this blog, and sent me amazing emails about their experiences on the Gettysburg Battlefield. You all have added to this experience in ways I will forever appreciate.

There are many different ways to learn how to paint, but it has always been my contention that the act of painting itself is the best teacher. Picking up that brush, dipping it into some paint, and attacking the canvas each day will teach you something new every time, and the more mistakes you make, the more you will learn along the way.

You can't be afraid when you're out there plein air painting - you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. It is so easy to be complacent, to find the easy way and stick with it. For example, when painting the summer landscape, you will be surrounded by many, many different shades of green. It is easy to hold on to the notion we learned in grade school that 'green = yellow + blue'. As a painter, we need to stop, look and find the actual color that we need. Sometimes green has a lavender or blue cast, sometimes it is the deep olive green that you can get by mixing ivory black and cadmium yellow, and sometimes it really is just a yellow and blue mixed together. As an artist, what I marvel in is that sometimes when you really look, you will see that what you originally thought was green may not even be green at all!

As a plein air painter, sunscreen and bug spray are your FRIENDS! I also was very, very glad that I had the umbrella that attached to my Judson Guerrilla pochade paint box - especially the last few days of painting when it provided my only source of shade under a merciless, hot sun.

I've never minded when people come up to talk to me while I am painting. Even if they don't have an artistic bone in their body, they are always interested, and ask some really creative questions. This is the first time that I ever painted around such a large amount of people, and one of the things I noticed during this paint out was that little children outdid the adults in politeness a hundred to one when it came to blocking the artist's view. It always made me smile to see a little one scrunch down so they wouldn't be in the way - even though many times they weren't tall enough to even be in the line of vision - and I always made sure to say 'thank you!'

Being on this historical site made me think more than once of my high school history teacher, Mr. Willis Kocher. He expected a lot, and gave back even more by bringing history to life each day in his classes. Thanks, Mr. Kocher!

Kudos to the Gettysburg Battlefield tour guides. Each day I heard snippets from many different guides as they led tourists through the various battle sites. Talk about having a passion for your work - these folks are incredible.

I asked each artist to send me a picture of their favorite painting from this esperience, and here they are:

My Painting

Mary Beth Brath

Dianne Lorden

William Lukens

Lyn O'Neal

William Fosnaught

Susan Gray

Deborah Richardson

Sharon Benner

Becky Jackson

Peter Plant

Jackie Mickler

Glenn Souders

Dorothea Barrick

Amy Lindenberger


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