Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Skies #4

Summer Skies #4
6 x 8

Continuing on with the Summer Skies project....last evening when the skies began to clear, there was still much evidence of the stormy weather we've had all week.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Triptych-Work in Progress

I'm taking a posting break from my Summer Skies project to post a work in progress. Again this year I've been asked to exhibit a large piece at the Albuquerque Museum Miniatures & More show. I'm painting a large triptych piece- it will be approximately 3' x 5' framed!Here's the sketch.

Here's a series of images of the underpainting. At this stage I like to put the panels in the frame (which is raw and unfinished at this stage too!) because it helps to insure that the image flows seamlessly from panel to panel.

Next, I'll take the panels out of the frame, tweak the underpainting, and start the finish.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Skies #3

Summer Skies #3
7 x 5

It's no surprise that the evening sky is my favorite. There is something poignant, even sensual about the close of the day.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Skies #2

Summer Skies #2
5 x 5
A storm came through a few days ago just at sunset, and thankfully cooled things off a bit. I love how dark the sky can get right before the rain starts.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Summer Skies
4 x 12

"I have done a good deal of skying, for I am determined to conquer all difficulties, and that among the rest."

John Constable, October 1821

As regular readers of this blog know, John Constable, the great 19th century English landscape painter, is a major source of inspiration to me. I've written about him here , and even named a storage area in my studio for large canvases the Constable Closet. Constable was one of the first artists to make plein air sketching part of his regular working process. During the summer months, he would leave his studio in London and roam the Suffolk countryside. He had a particular interest in skies and today his on the spot sketches (annotated on the back with date, time and weather conditions) are among his most compelling works.

So, in homage to Constable and the season, for the next little while, I'll be painting and posting sky studies. These small works are not meant to be finished pieces, just research and development (R&D). Like Constable, I hope they will bring greater power, authenticity and feeling to the work I do in the studio.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The Boys of Summer
(our neighbors)

This week its been beastly hot- a 30 degree + about face from the cool mountain weather in Telluride. But, it seems right. Puts me in mind of all those hot summer days when summer vacation meant three whole months of swimming, riding bikes from morning until dusk, and catching fireflies in glass jars until the mosquitoes chased you inside.

These guys belong to our rancher neighbor. They are all two and three year old geldings- none in regular work yet. This maybe their last summer before they start their careers as ranch horses. For now, though, they spend their days grazing, playing the occasional game of grab-ass and retreating to the shade when the afternoon sun gets too hot. Seems about right.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Home Again

We're home. July 4th in Telluride was terrific as usual. I wrote a bit about the celebration in the last post. One of the things I didn't mention, is that in addition to the fun funky part of the parade and festivities, this little town goes all out to honor Veterans. Every year, all Vets present on the 4th, whether from Telluride or visitors, are invited to march in the parade. This year my husband Steve (USMC 1967-1970) marched with about 25 others (including several artists from the show). The crowd cheers, small children shout "thank you", the band plays- it was very moving-especially since Steve and his comrades never got a parade or thank you when they came home. I was very proud.

The show ended on a positive note with another sale, and we headed home on Sunday morning. Driving through New Mexico, we were treated to what we used to call "Maynard Dixon skies" all day...

Then, a big storm rolled in and we saw this:

And, finally a moonrise through the storm clouds

Quite a show.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Telluride Plein Air Day 5

Evening Aspens
12 x 12

The day started out wet and cloudy -not auspicious for the first day of the public sale. However, by lunch the sun was out and so were the people. There was a steady stream of traffic pretty much all day- some artists did well, others not so much. I made some sales and felt like it was a very good day for me. Steve and I felt we'd received very positive feedback on both the work and the framing. Yea! Tonight is the Artist Party, then the second and last sale day tomorrow.

The 4th of July in Telluride is really special. Its a quintessential small town America celebration with a funky local parade, big barbeque in the town park followed by fireworks against the backdrop of the mountains. In addition every year there is a fly over right before the parade starts of two F-16s that come screaming down the box canyon, fly right over Main Street and bank up and away over the mountains. I've seen it three times and every time I get goosebumps. Happy 4th everyone!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Telluride Plein Air Day 4

Last Light on the Valley Floor
12 x 8 -12 x 12 -12 x 8

This is the piece I finally selected for the silent auction (again, sorry for the horrible image!). It turned out to be the right choice. The triptych format garnered a lot of attention and bids! The event was well attended- Jill Carver won Artists Choice. Congrats Jill! The public sale starts this morning...gotta run!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Telluride Plein Air Day 3

Twilight Moon
18 x 15

The moon won't actually be full until next Monday but I've taken the liberty of showing it about two thirds full here- a little artistic license! Tomorrow morning we have to deliver our pick for the silent auction tomorrow night- this one is in contention, but I'm still working on a larger triptych that might win out.

Tomorrow is also the quick draw on Main Street and then we vote for Artists Choice, which will be announced at the silent auction. The public sale starts Friday and continues through the 4th. Crunch time!