Monday, December 31, 2012

Bulldog Rocks Study, 6x6 oil on Raymar cotton panel

Recently my husband went with me for a plein air painting session (he's not a painter, but he's a great photographer and critic!). I wanted to go back to Bulldog Rocks, along the Salt River in the Tonto National Forest, north of Mesa.  I paint there often.  Since the best viewing spot is closed for the winter (Water Users)  the next best place that's free is a turnout on Bush Highway just south of Water Users.  It requires a little hike to get down to the water, but there are great hiking trails and the view is well worth it.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Winter Light, 6x6 oil on Raymar Panel

Last year I went to an area of the Salt River called Water Users, where the views of the tall Bulldog Rocks are magnificent.  It was the end of a winter day in January, with long shadows and the beautiful golden light reflecting off the rocks and foliage.  I painted this from a photo I took that day, looking southeast toward the Usery Mountains.  I'm so glad I took all those photos last winter because sadly, Water Users is closed for the season this year by the Forest Service, due to budget cuts.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Last Light, 8x10 oil on canvas panel

Today I painted at the Salt River, in the Phon D. Sutton recreation area.  This is a scenic spot right by the river, with many beautiful vistas.  If you're lucky, the Salt River wild horses will come by to visit.  I went there this afternoon, since the light is so good at this time of year.  I found a nice shady spot to set up, and although I had originally intended to paint a scene looking east, when I looked toward the west and saw the light on the mountains and the rocks, and the beautiful Fall foliage lit by the setting sun, I quickly changed my mind!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Keyhole Rock, 9x12 oil on canvas panel

Keyhole Rock is a landmark for Laguna Beach, California.  I painted this on location when I visited this summer.  What a great place to paint, and a nice escape from the Arizona heat!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mount Moran, 9x12 oil painting on canvas panel

Last year we visited Teton National Park, Yellowstone and the surrounding areas.  We had gone to that area to celebrate the life of my husband's mother, who had passed away earlier that year.  Marquita lived in Driggs, Idaho -- on the west side of the Tetons.  It was quite a trip.  We also visited a ranch in Jackson that had been owned by my husband's grandfather (the Aspen M).  The present owners were very gracious, and they allowed us to walk around the ranch, talk to the staff (some of whom remember his grandfather) and take photos.  I took many photos of the Tetons, and although the weather was overcast much of the time, I took a photo of Mt. Moran, looking across Jackson Lake, that turned out quite well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Today was the second day of Joni Falk's Floral Still Life Class, and it was another great day.  Maxine Johnston stopped by (the founder of Scottsdale Artists' School), and although she no longer teaches, she always takes the time to look at each student's painting and offer some good advice.  

I did some refinement on the painting I did yesterday, and below is the finished product.  Well, mostly finished.  All you painters out there will have your own opinion, but I think I'll pour a cup of coffee, sit down and stare at it a while to see what else it might need.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Joni Falk Still Life Class -- Day 1

Today was the first day of Joni Falk's floral still life class at Scottsdale Artists' School.  We're all having a great time, and Joni is such a wonderful teacher.  My painting today is not quite complete yet, but I'm happy with the progress so far.  Below are photos of the still life set-up, as well as my painting-in-progress.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cactus Flowers, 9x12 oil

Some say that roses are the most beautiful flowers, but I think that cactus flowers are equally beautiful, and just as challenging to paint.  Here in the southwest, we're treated to a variety of cactus flowers in a wide range of neon colors during the spring.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Cactus Flowers", 12x16 oil on canvas

The cactus flowers have begun to bloom here in Arizona, and it's a delight to see so many different colors of prickly pear cactus and blossoms.  The pads on the prickly pear range in color from bright green to beautiful purples ands reds; and the blossoms are yellow, red, pink and sometimes a combination of all three.  It's a pleasure to look at all these when I ride my bike in the morning -- a nice way to start the day!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Mission Walk", 12x9 oil on stretched canvas

This is part of the series I'm doing on the California missions.  I'm visiting each of the missions to take photos for painting, and this is from a photo I took at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, California -- the King of the Missions.  I'm teaching a paint-along class for this project on Saturday, March 10 at Jerry's Artarama in Tempe. Details can be found on my websites at and

This painting, as well as prints of this painting, can be purchased at