Copper Kettle / Study

Color! The richness and variety of the orange in the kettle, fabric and flowers are complimented by the blue green of the foliage. To my eye this is irresistible!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fenceline Oak

This old oak stands alone on a grassy ridge overlooking a deep valley and the hills beyond the valley. It is stubbed and twisted, a wreck of rich tangles. It has massive tree sized limbs, twisty branches, mistletoe, lichens, mosses and even a few leaves. A symbol of the strength and tenacity of life.
This is a study for a large painting .
11' x 15"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oak Rocking Chair

Many years ago my son built this chair using only hand tools and from rough milled wood. It sits on my front deck, comfortable,  useful,  used frequently of course,  and definitely a  treasure.
10" x 14"

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I saw this dynamic young pianist at the Monterrey Jazz Festival last fall. She had the crowd cheering and stomping with her high energy and joyful performance . Her enthusiasm was contagious !
This watercolor is another in an ongoing series of musicians inspired by the Jazz Festival.
14" x 13"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sonny Rollins I

I plan to do a series of watercolors based on jazz musicians,  this is Sonny Rollins, a jazz veteran , who was just honored by a Kennedy Center Award for Artists.
 13" x 11"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Autumn Hillside

The autumn oaks, madrones, firs and fruit trees on the hills and meadows of Humboldt County prompted this meditation.
22" 30"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Looking South

This is a view of the headlands where the Mattole River meets the Pacific. It is landscape on a vast scale and it was a challenge for me to capture it's ruggedness and variety. I now have a new respect for those great landscape painters of the heroic mythic west, who painted huge canvas' to portray the grandeur they saw.
48" x 18"

Saturday, October 29, 2011

4 Musicians

Live music onstage  =  magic

16 3/4" x 27 1/4"   watercolor and acrylic

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lookin South From The Mouth of the Mattole

This is a sketch from a high meadow overlooking the hills and ocean where the Mattole River reaches the sea. It was a very warm sunny October afternoon, the fog hovered offshore, but never blew in. The low sun put the north facing wooded slopes into deep shade. This rugged landscape is very dramatic - I will be painting a large version which hopefully will give a sense of the really grand scale of this area.
9" x 12"

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three Musicians

I'm intrigued with painting musicians -as they play their instruments and listen intently to each other,  they slouch, they hunch and focus inwardly.
12 1/8" x 12 1/4"

Saturday, October 8, 2011

2 Musicians

and now for something different......in trying to capture the raw energy of a jazz festival,  I left traditional watercolor behind.
For the background I used gouache and acrylic and generally tortured the paper by scraping and rubbing to evoke the sense of process I was hearing in the music.
An experimental piece that represents a visual improvisation - phew!
17 1/4" x 13 1/8"

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Garden Stage

Recently I went to the Monterrey Jazz Festival after an absence of 10 years, and found it to be the same wonderful experience. Fantastic music non stop for 3 days and happy people in a beautiful environment .
Here is a sketch of one stage:  4 musicians playing with great energy in front of striking graphics of the backdrop.
5 1/2" x 14"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

At The Equinox

These are the last lovely days of summer, and a good day to paint outside, This is another study of the corner of my garden.
7" x 10"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

County Fair Horse Race

Who will win?  Next time I will bet.
This painting is a little larger than the study - 7 1/2 " x 21 1/2"

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Race Track /study

A tiny study from a wonderful afternoon at the county fair race track.
2 1/2" x 10 1/4"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eel River Cliffs

 Here the Eel River swings around a cliff topped by redwoods before it flows north, and provides a favorite summer swimming hole.
This panorama view measures 60" wide by 17" high

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Redway Beach Study/ Part II

This is the second study of the favorite local swimming hole of the area.  This scene portrays the continuation of the cliffs just before the river swings around a steep curve, then meanders north for approximately another 70 miles before it reaches the ocean.

11" x 28 1/4"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Redway Beach Study / Part 1

The next two posts are "studies" of the popular local swimming hole. I call them studies , part I and II,  even though they are full size paintings, because they are preparatory paintings for a very long panoramic view of this dramatic location.
The Eel River runs along a sheer vertical cliff of geologically interesting stratified rock. Vegetation grows in the crevices and the river flows below, bringing much pleasure to locals young and old.
Part I is 11' x 29 1/2"

Friday, August 19, 2011

new Rollerblades

Childhood is about the new abilities, experiences, activities and challenges that life presents and I am so happy to be present to share some of them. It's great being a grandma!
 watercolor   9 3/4" x 9 1/2"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hula Hoop

Afternoons in the play yard - a lot of learning goes on with very intense focus.
11' x 9 1/2"

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mendocino Headlands

This is a large painting made from a small study. I am interested in developing the concept of "reading" an image, a parallel to the way your eyes scan a landscape from one end to another, noticing the variation in textures, focus and detail. Here the subject is the row of buildings that rim the  thick, grassy headlands in Mendocino.
 14" x 40 1/2"

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Koi Pond

Yesterday a group of painters were invited to paint in a beautiful garden, and I chose a spot near a small
pond bordered with lush vegetation, where every once in a while, large, slow colorful koi would put in an appearance in the shadier waters.
This watercolor is 9" x 12"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Late June Garden

This is a large version of a study I published earlier. There is a time in June when the world seems to explode extravagantly in roses. Here is a small sliver of that generous display.
The painting is 35" x 30"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

One Way

The summer heat on the east coast prompts me to post this watercolor of a street scene in NYC, painted  earlier this spring as a commission. It was a challenge to get the light right - the cool light of the city is very different than the light I usually see here.
I like challenges!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Suzanne's Garden

Summer, and why we love it!

Painted on 300# paper 20 1/2" x 28 1/4"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mattole River Valley

This landscape looks eastwards towards Petrolia from a hill high above the Mattole River, close to where it flows into the Pacific. The river meanders through many sandbars before finally reaching the ocean. In this valley the air is fresh and the wind is strong. The riverbank is edged with large sloping grasslands and rugged wooded hills of alder, fir, tan oak, and maple. The world feels fresh here.

This commissioned  painting is 40" x 18 "

Saturday, July 2, 2011

At Suzanne's

My neighbor's garden is in full bloom, and today I sat under an umbrella in her yard, painted, watched butterflies, kept the cat company and felt very fortunate indeed !
This study is 12" x 13 1/2"

Monday, June 27, 2011

Late June

Another study of my backyard roses, I am struck by how the simplified blocks of color remind me of Matisse - I should be so lucky!
I plan on painting a large version, I really like working big.
This is 7" x 10" on hot press paper

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sally Holmes, Budding and Blooming

This painting challenged me by it's size and complexity. Every spring I fall in love with the roses in my yard, so I go at it with brush and paint...excited and then exhausted! I am very happy with this painting, it captures the unruly force of spring growth.
34 1/2" x 23"
My posts have been irregular for several reasons; Open Studios took a lot of time and all my space for 2 weeks,  and also I am working on two commissions, which I will share with you if I have permission of the collectors. I enjoy doing commissions, it means new ideas...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

6 Tomatoes

Sometimes I like to combine watercolor with other media. This is a mixed media piece, graphite and watercolor which I will have on display at my studio during Open Studios - June 4, 5 and 11,12
I hope you will visit!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Calla Lillies

Endlessly fascinating, the large creamy, single petaled blooms are stemmed regally above their furled leaves - there, does that explain it all?
11" x 15"

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pear Branch

Another in my series of fruiting branches, this watercolor will be on display at my studio during the upcoming Open Studios which will be held the first two weekends of June.  I will be sharing my space with Alicia Tredway, I hope you will come have some wine and look at our art.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter 2011

These large petaled apple blossoms were in full bloom on a windy, sunny day just before Easter. They were very fragrant. The apple tree in my yard is just beginning to bloom now, it's a late season apple , and it's blossoms are much smaller. I'll probably paint it as well...
22" x 30"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Where the Mattole River meets the Pacific

This is a view of the headland overlooking the Mattole River where it empties into the Pacific Ocean in Petrolia. This was painted on a cloudy day, one of those days where the sky and the water meet without a clear distinction and the sky promises rain.
A small study 7" x 10" on hot press paper

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pink Tulips

Suddenly it's spring - and so much beauty all at once, who can resist?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Backyard

Yesterday morning was actually sunny, so my friend Alicia and I headed out into the wilds of my backyard for the first plein air venture this season. So there we were, back in the unruly outdoors, where nature refuses to be neat and tidy. Yea!
11" x 14"

Monday, April 11, 2011

warm up for "Warming Up"

This is the preliminary sketch, the  "warm up"  for "Warming Up".  It helped me figure out the composition and paint colors I would use for the larger complicated painting . This study is fresh and was fun to do, and I thought it might be interesting to show the process.
11" x 15"

Warming Up

At last!  A little spring color, hooray!  The beginning of the season, I'm looking forward to more garden paintings.
15" x 22"

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meyer Lemons

For years I have tried to grow Meyer lemons without a greenhouse;  in my area this enterprise requires large amounts of optimism, perseverance and a little magic. So to that end, I set up this "altar" to the Meyer Lemon gods - Does anyone know the appropriate incantations I should chant?
30" x 22"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rain Drenched Daffodils

I had to rescue these battered daffy's from the non stop stormy weather. They actually perked up a bit as I painted !
9" x 12" on hot press paper

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cyclamen II

This is another version of the delicate houseplants that brighten our stormy days.
 I am still loving the way paint soaks into the soft paper, creating the effects that only watercolor can produce.
My work is about the expressiveness of this medium, and the adventure of following this path.
22" x 30"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Inspired by Manet, I painted this small watercolor of hyacinths from my backyard.
The darks in the background flow and granulate due to the specifics of the pigments , these differences in how the paint sits on or soaks into the paper are inherent to watercolor - and makes it such a fascinating medium.
7" x 10"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mendocino Art Center Classes

I will be teaching a workshop in watercolor fundamentals at the Mendocino Art Center April 16, 17, 18.
This class will be about the basics in the vocabulary of representational painting: color, value and composition, resulting in stronger and more expressive watercolors.
The Art Center is a beautiful place for this exploration - I hope all who are interested will attend

Dogwood Blooming

This rather dramatic painting is a departure from my recent soft watercolors. I am portraying the stubborn insistence of plants to keep to their blooming schedule despite wind and rain. I don't have the words to express this amazing annual miracle, here it is in paint.
28" x 22"

Thursday, March 3, 2011


The blossoms of a young Magnolia tree  in my yard are slowly opening. The weather has been very unsettled, hardly springlike yet.  I tried to capture this lovely event .

Friday, February 25, 2011

Camellia Branch

So what is a painter to do in wintry weather?  Paint camellias of course !

And I continued work on my earlier camellia painting, developing and strengthening the leaves
blossoms and background - this is the revised version.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pink Camellias

 The temperature outside is still chilly, and the sun only peeks out occasionally, but spring is on the way,
 and my neighbors camellias are proof of this.
This was painted in one long session, (the term is alla prima,)  it's like holding your breath for a long underwater lap in the pool, and I'm breathless!
I will probably continue to fuss with it - but I feel pretty happy just now.
22" x 30"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

About Memory

At times it's difficult to put into words the reasons for choosing to paint particular subject matter. In this case it is a memory of my mother, and a painting of a pot of primroses I gave her a long time ago. Primroses are a reminder of those feelings.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine Chocolates

Yum!   This one is just for fun - Happy Valentine's Day you all!