Monday, August 31, 2015


The cows we had on the farm growing up were sweet and mostly gentle beasts. We, of course, named every pretty one. This cow reminds me of our cow, Elsa. The photo was from another daily challenge and there was a second cow in that photo but while painting her she kept looking like she was making faces at me - so I painted her right into the pasture. I think a plum color in the pasture may have added a bit of zip/zing but the eye did turn out just as I remember them.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wild Plum

Wild plums grow along our driveway and they are delicious to eat until you just have the skin left and then instant bitterness.The blue dots in the background was the sky, but it looks like another berry hopped into the photo shoot. I like this painting and then I don't. Hmmm, just like eating wild plums.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


 In the fall, I gather acorns like a squirrel. I put them in my pockets, bring them home and store them in jars. I don't know why I do it, except that I think they are adorable and I want to take them home with me. They are when you think about it, a little pixie doll face wearing a really cute beret. This one was still greenish and .. well, adorable. I think the detail versus loose works in this one. Or, maybe not... perhaps I should paint another one, after all, I still have a pocket full.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Black-eyed Susan

Once this painting was done, I wished I had made a greater difference in the values of the front and back yellow and given more detail to the foreground. I think both would have made for a stronger painting. That said, it is a cheery yellow, I do believe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Best of Buddies

What goes better than tomato and basil? Nothing. Here they are - together, fresh from the garden. I tried to paint more simply with the just the major forms but my love for the details got in the way. I do like the fact that you can tell it is basil. You can tell that..., right?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Little Brave Tree

This little tree was out in a field by our house and I caught a photo of it just as the sun was setting. I like the way it stands out looking both small and brave at the same time. Tress are like that. I think the composition using the dark slanted shadow behind the lit tree works well here. I used more colors in the background trees than were there but, Minnesota summer landscapes have to be pushed or you will quickly run out of green.  : )

Friday, August 21, 2015


This painting was another Challenge from the Daily Paint Works website. The link is here. I liked the odd angles of the mountains and the cool and warm shadows. My horizon is maybe too blurry but I am pretending it is foggy/misty back there. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Road In

There is something about an old country road splattered with evening summer shadows that just feels like home. I took the photo for this painting the other night on the road into Old Wadena park. I like the warm and cool shadows and the tiny bit of red in the trees that reminds me autumn is just around the bend.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Round Bales

The colors in the bales are working but I could have made a greater difference in value between them and the ground in order to pop them out more. Learning learning on I go. I do know that working on a 6x6 canvas has it's challenges and some of the paintings are really too small to be crammed onto that small of a canvas... learning learning on I go.

Field of Bees

I loved the colors and shadows of these boxes. I don't think I got them all right in value when I painted them, but close enough to like it overall. The composition works for me with the angle of the tree line going down and the angle of the boxes going up. Well, maybe that is just in my mind and to an art critic it may be a major fail.

Barn Red

I have wanted to paint this barn for years. It is a few miles from our house and the way it looks back at me when I am on the way home is endearing. I liked the way using the pastels over the oils created a softer finish with more fine details. 

Yard Art

This little cutie was in our front yard. It seemed lost and adorable. I was lucky to have the camera close and ready and was able to walk outside close to it and snap a few good photos before it wandered off. I like the shadows created by the poseand the shadow color on the face. I think I could have used other colors to off set the ton of green in the background, but that is tricky- at least for my level of skill.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Little Water with my Lime

I love this drink: water and lime. I think my skill may be returning... this does look like ice cubes, lime wedge, water... right? I do think I could have chosen with to be more loose with the paint or more detailed. Seems like I may have played it somewhere in the middle.

Summer Berries

And still struggling with my lack of painting skill. Yuck. On second thought... yuck.

Just Peachy

Yes, I know. Cheap title. But that is how I felt painting this one. I do like the way this one carries the feel of a soft peach and the colors work too. I wonder if I had used a different color for the background if that would have made it pop forward more. Hmpf. Next time maybe. 

Bad Coffee

This little gem of bad coffee was in my "I Can Not Paint" period which lasted a few days more than a week. It is just ... well, bad. You can even see the shadow of a glass in the background that never made it to the final painting. Suffice to say, the coffee I was drinking was much better. I don't know what happened, but I have read other painters go through the same dry period. No refills, please.

Fishing Challenge

This was another Carol Maines painting challenge that I completed. Here is the link to see the other paintings that were submitted. This was a tough one until I got the correct color and size of the ripple in front of the fisherman, then the rest was believable... if that makes sense.

River Ripple

I am often mesmerized watching water ripples in lakes and rivers and puddles even, so this felt like a big challenge, but I like the way it finished. It is not as smooth as the reference photo, but it still works.