Sunday, August 30, 2015


An old chicken coop, no longer used but still standing.
Three months ago we moved from the hustle and bustle to a more rural location. Not so many people, much quieter and more scenic. The landscape is dotted with old buildings where people lived, laughed, worked. This is the  same area where I visited my Grandma, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins when I was a child. I've painted three little scenes: the images are 6x4 inches on 7x5 pastel paper. I may paint more, or not. These three will go to Daily Paintworks for purchase. Use the Magnifier there for a closer look.

I call this the Ivy House because one side is covered in Ivy. No one lives there but it is on my route to the Library and Post Office. It seems to be forgotten but deserves to be painted.
We came upon this original homestead on a Sunday Drive. I'm sure a lot of memories were made in this simple little house. Sadly, it now stands open to the weather.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

In appreciation

Study for Leaving Home, pastel, 5x4 inches
I recently shipped Study for Leaving Home to it's new owner and received a nice email from her.  Thank you Jory! Take a look at her beautiful paintings through the link below.

Dear Barbara,
I received your perfect little gem “Study for leaving home” yesterday. It is a perfectly detailed brilliant little painting and doesn’t look like a study at all. I just love it! It is already at my framers and it will be in a place of honor.
Thank you! (feel free to post this testimonial if you want)

Jory Mason

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Two new ones

Study for Spring at Gold Creek, pastel, 5 x 4  inches

Study for Spring at Gold Creek Pond, pastel, 4 x 5 inches
See both of these little studies with the Magnifier on my Daily Paintworks Gallery page.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Take a look...

After my post yesterday showing a small pastel study, I had a conversation with my husband about why I posted the green reference photo along with the colorful little pastel. I told him about a follow-up post I would do as soon as I had time - one in which I would put into words what I showed as a visual: take any reference photo and push the color. If you have trouble imagining how to do this, put the reference photo in Photoshop and slide the "Hue" bar. It is an interesting experiment. Meanwhile, today Marla Baggetta has posted on the same topic and she has saved me a lot of typing as well as explaining it better than I might have. Here is a link to Marla's post. Thank you Marla from all of us!

The other thing I wanted to tell you is that the little studies on Daily Paintworks, mine and those of others, are inexpensive little gems of education, especially if you can't study in person with the artist. If you want a real, live example to study composition, value, color or stroke, invest in one of these. Place it on your easel next to your painting and put it to work by example to improve your own art. Here is one I have available now -  Study for "Leaving Home". See it on Daily Paintworks.

Study for Leaving Home Sold

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The second time around

My new Studio is full of natural light during the day but last night was the first time I painted after dark. I found a reference photo in one of my old sketchbooks and used it for a little color study.

This morning the skies are overcast making it MUCH easier to get a good photograph. This is a Study for "All Things Good and True" (the second time around). Sold

Monday, August 10, 2015


A few days ago I was informed by the folks at Patience Brewster that August is Artist Appreciation Month. Patience designs hand-painted ornaments for Christmas and all year decor. They inspired me to write a post on this blog about a few artists that have inspired me.

The first artist that comes to mind is my former instructor at Burnley School of Professional Art, William Cumming. Below is a photo of my office wall and his painting - girl leaning toward a window -  that he gifted me when I was his student. Bill Cumming encouraged me to carry a sketchbook and to make a habit of capturing everyday events in quick, spontaneous line drawings. He showed me the joy of line and the emotion and moods a simple line can convey.

Next to my Cumming painting are two works by my first husband, William Iles. As I look back, I am inspired by his perseverance and dedication to express himself through art regardless of his circumstances.

These days as I work in pastel and oil, my art heart beats faster when I see the lovely works of  Tibor Nagy and Alex Kanevsky. I can't express in words how their work makes me feel. The play of color and texture in their paintings inspire me to get into the Studio. That's where I'm headed now!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

painting from my sketchbook

I used to be diligent about adding entries to my Sketchbook. These days, it is fun to look back to review my art struggles - most of them now a distant memory. The work itself also shows my challenges of the time. When I came across the painting Days Ease I remembered how much I liked it. I even remember the person who came to my Studio to pick up another painting and saw this one and purchased it also.

Today I wondered how differently I would paint the scene now so I propped the sketchbook up on my easel and began to paint. It was fun, and the best part was walking away when I had said what I intended instead of belaboring the painting.

Days Ease, pastel, 4.5 x 6 inches   Sold

Monday, August 3, 2015

painting light

Painted on Wallis paper toned with Venetian Red gesso.
Leavenworth Light, pastel, 7 x 7 inches Sold

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Paint it twice...

I painted "Leavenworth Pine" twice this morning. I had to rip up the first painting because when I removed the black artist tape that held it to my easel, the tape took the right bottom corner of the Colourfix pastel paper with it. Here is the second try shown in steps...much improved anyway because I was familiar with the subject (same as doing a study for a larger painting).
Leavenworth Pine Step 1
Leavenworth Pine Step2
Leavenworth Pine Step3
Leavenworth Pine, pastel, 6x6 inches   Sold

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Light Show

Light Show, pastel, 7x5 inches Sold
Painted from a reference photo that I have had for years, shot on a winter morning. I have taken liberties with the color palette but the focus is still on the way the early morning light comes through the trees.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Goodbye, Hello

Goodbye to all my stashed pastels! I had boxes of pastels:  some especially for workshops, pristine unopened sets for landscape work, boxes of special pastels I wanted to save. Save for what? I emptied all my boxes into my working boxes. May as well use them now - if not now, when?

I took the hinges and handles off my two Dakota Art boxes and lined them up on a table next to my pastel easel. Next, I rearranged all my pastels with white, gray and black in the middle, cools to the left and warms to the right. No particular reason why other than that I haven't had them arranged this way before. With them all in one place, I was inspired to paint.

Red Trees, 6.25 x 4.25 inches  sold
Red Trees is my first offering on Daily Paintworks since last February! Good news to WA collectors: sales tax is less in my new location. Click here to see this painting on Daily Paintworks. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

The bonding process and floater frames

I woke up early this morning remembering that I agreed to be one of three artists in a Fall gallery show... and here it is, almost August! That motivates my need to bond with my new studio. The painting area is really half the studio. The other half is the sleeper sofa, table and Annie bed. I hope to be back to painting soon in this compact area.

I found floater frames in two styles/sizes, two of each frame - one new and one used (used ones are shown here and have hanging wires attached). I doubt that I will use them again so if you use this type of frame and live within driving distance, let me know. Prices are very reasonable, I just put them on OfferUp.

The top frame(s) is for a painting 18 x 18 inches. It is black with gold front. The bottom frame is for an 18 x 24 painting and is dark brown wood composite with a backing board.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

First project out of the new Studio

I'm starting to bond with my new Studio. No art yet but I have a couple windows that need privacy and found a way to get it with clear Contact Paper.

Bathroom window before.

Bathroom window after Contact Paper.This is a tedious process, cutting out each shape with scissors and positioning them on the glass without bubbles. Lots of "aargghhh" but looks OK in the end. This isn't my idea - I saw it online somewhere but I can't remember where.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Thank you NWPS

I am honored to become the eighth Distinguished Pastelist of the Northwest Pastel Society and to have a feature online interview by NWPS Webmaster, James Geddes on the NWPS website.  Here is a link to read the feature. Many thanks to NWPS and James.

Friday, July 3, 2015

First shots of the new Studio

My new Studio is finally organized enough to share some photos. It is smaller than my old studio but  I have a separate storage area behind the door at left in the above photo. The little niche where the table is was originally designed to have a studio sink, then the sleeper sofa but in reality I like the table there. The stainless steel sink for studio cleanup is just down the hall in the laundry room.

I have two painting stations, the one on the left is my big Hughes easel for oil, acrylic, etc.  The one on the right is my good old MABEF for pastel because it can accommodate the Artists Air Filter System. A huge improvement over my previous studio is the track lighting. I don't even know what these bulbs are but I know they're LED and expensive and should outlast me. Between the two easels is my old Boeing drafting table with a ton of stuff crammed under it for now. My pastels are still in boxes to the right of the pastel easel; I don't think I'll get to them until it starts to rain.

This is the West wall of the Studio looking out onto the back patio and the flower-garden-in-progress. The Studio gets blasted with afternoon sun so all windows and the french doors have blinds. I look forward to painting plein air on the back patio and in the garden where I'll only have a few feet to haul supplies.

This sleeper sofa was gigantic in our old house but it looks small here. This weekend the Studio will turn into a guest bedroom. Look how FEW art books I have kept for the move! I should post a shot of the titles. The non objective painting in this photo is a Cathy Woo and the very small piece in the previous photo of my easel wall is by Carole Barrer alongside a drawing by colored pencil artist, Bill Nelson. These artists inspire me. Wishing everyone a happy Fourth of July.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Our Twentieth Anniversary Show

Our Critique Group is celebrating 20 years with an anniversary show at American Art Company, Tacoma, WA July 11 through Sept. 5. Opening reception: Saturday July 18, 2-4 p.m.  Thanks to Kay Dewar for creating our postcard.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Checking In

Busy days since the move to our new house in mid May. Here is a little catch-up link

Friday, May 8, 2015

Great News

Great News! My painting, "Path to Gold Creek" has received the Directors' Award at the Northwest Pastel Society 29th Annual International Open Exhibition at American Art Company, Tacoma, WA. Show runs May 9 - June 20, 2015.

This award gives me NPS Distinguished Pastelist status. Yay! I'm happy. Many thanks to NPS and Juror Michael Chesley Johnson.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

spring fever?

It must be spring fever at Daily Paintworks! "Turning Point," - color study for pond painting, will ship tomorrow to its new home in Iowa. Thank you Kathy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

crazy day

The studio is packed up in boxes ready for the move; I haven't posted any new art for months and have unsubscribed from most art blogs so I can focus on the tasks at hand (packing)., surprise! I received two purchases through Daily Paintworks. I knew right where one painting was (in my flat files) but the other one took a couple hours to find among the packed boxes. Fortunately, I made a note in my Art Database which box number it was in - otherwise I'd still be looking! I'm thankful for this crazy day.

Autumn at Anahim Lake will go to a new home in NY.

Study for River's Edge will go to a new home in Hawaii.

Friday, April 17, 2015

wall paint

I moved into my studio (formerly our two car garage) in 1989 and during the past 26 years I have painted the studio walls at least 6 times. This week I moved the flat files from their usual place to paint the wall behind. Of the colors shown here, the peachy color was first, then the French Gray, then a blue that isn't shown here, then the cork color and finally Benjamin Moore's Water's Edge Blue.

Here is the wall now with furniture sitting upon the counter waiting the move to the new house. When all your art supplies are packed away, you are left with nothing to blog about except wall paint.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Opening Reception Date Correction

Ooops! Updated Open Reception date for our Critique Group 20th Anniversary Exhibition at American Art Company in Tacoma is Saturday July 18th, 2-4 PM. If you are a colored pencil enthusiast, you'll want to see this show.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

20th Anniversary Show

Many long years ago when I worked exclusively in colored pencil, several of us working in that medium started a Critique Group. Our group has met every other month for twenty years and this year, we are fortunate to have a Twentieth Anniversary Show at American Art Company in Tacoma, WA. Many thanks to Tammy, owner of AAC and to Kay Dewar and Sueellen Ross for co-chairing the exhibition. The show will open July 11th and run to September 5th. Opening Reception is Saturday, July 18th, 2-4 PM. We would love to see you there!

Each artist will have six pieces in the show. Over the years, I have worked in other mediums so for me, this is a mini-retrospective. Below are my paintings that will be exhibited and available for purchase.

1999 - Worldly Goods, colored pencil on paper, 19 x 25 inches.
Worldly Goods is in the style of my colored pencil work - sharp point, light touch, color lifted with reusable adhesive for added nuance. This drawing was featured in a step-by-step article for American Artist Magazine. I was working on it at the same time I was writing Colored Pencil Solution Book. When this drawing was complete I realized that in my confusion of shooting slides (remember slides?) for CPSB, I had failed to shoot slides of this painting for the step-by-step article. So, with this drawing as my reference, I created another quarter-size version of this painting and shot slides of that one for the article. That smaller version of Worldly Goods sold but I still have the original, larger version and am so happy to show it with this group.

2001 - Falling In Love Again, colored pencil on paper, 25 x 18 inches
Two years later, I created Falling In Love Again. Still working in that meticulous circular stroke that I love. I love to NOT see a pencil "stroke." The texture of the paper was critical to the result I wanted.

2002 - Strawberry Reflections, watercolor with colored pencil, woven surface, 14 x 13 inches.
By 2002 I was experimenting with colored pencil applied over India ink and watercolor. This painting was originally about twice the size it is now and I wasn't pleased with the composition so I cut it in half, cut one of the halves into strips and wove the strips back into the other side in selected areas.

2004 - Love Life, colored pencil on paper, 14.5 x 14.5 inches
I was pleased with the woven effect in Strawberry Reflections and began a series of pieces that appeared woven but weren't. Each square has an abstract quality but continues to relate to the whole in color, texture and shape. The plums in the center focal point are handled in a traditional realistic manner. This painting is about abstraction, play of light and saturated color.

2014 - Found Memories, pastel, 12.5 x 11 inches
Completed in 2014, this pastel painting began years prior to that in a workshop with the amazing Elizabeth Mowry. Elizabeth quietly passed behind me checking on my progress without speaking. Her silence gave me confidence that I was doing OK. I finally told her I was about to apply a yellow and asked her opinion. She suggested a "quiet" yellow. I loved her workshop but this painting needed an update so in 2014 I reworked the top third and cropped a couple inches off the bottom. It comes with good memories that were found again when I worked on it the second time.

2014 - Bejeweled Woodland, 13 x 12.5 inches

My sixth painting in our group show is from my 2014 "Minds' Eye" series. Paintings from memory. A woodland scene with small jewel-like reflections in the water. Click any image to enlarge. We hope you have a chance to see the show in person but it will also be online at the American Art Company website.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

bottoms up

A new non objective painting? No, this is the bottom of a family heirloom. One of these days I'll get back to posting my art here but today I am appreciating the colors and textures of this surface. Of special note is the green in the lower right corner. The green chair.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Good News

Follow Your Heart, pastel, 10.5 x 12 inches
Good News! I am surprised and honored to learn that my painting, "Follow Your Heart" received the Third Place Award in the Pastel Society of the West Coast 2015 Online Membership Show in the Signature/ DP category. The exhibition opens April 1st on the PSWC website.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

reading, stripping furniture

No art today but here is a link to a few of my favorite things

Monday, March 9, 2015


All together now on my studio wall: the three 24 x 18 inch paintings from the first quarter of 2015. Now I really will take that sabbatical I've been talking about because today I finished boxing up all my art supplies. Feels very strange. It's time to turn my attention to packing, refinishing a couple pieces of furniture and transplanting many plants to the flower garden at our new home.

I expect a lot of physical work this spring and summer so I look forward to ending each day in my new bathtub with candlelight from the Glassybaby selected for me by my grandson Elias. He chose this color based on my cool painting palette.

Also complete is 8 weeks of online mentoring of Canadian artist Barbara DeMott through two paintings. She was my test case and I have a better idea now of how I might structure online mentoring in the Fall to assist several students to more successful work. If you are interested in having your name added to my online mentoring list, email me. Below is Barbara DeMott's painting, shared with her permission. Great job Barbara!

Homesite Creek Falls, pastel, 12x11 inches, Barbara DeMott