The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival always brings bus loads of people into the nearby fields to see the spectacular site of tulips blooming in broad sweeps of color. A couple of mornings ago there was a break in the rain and I called Karen to go paint. The wind was cold and blowing and I was bundled up in hat and coat. I had just finished this scene and put my work away. I turned around to look at the distant view on the opposite side of the road and to my dismay there marching quickly upon us was a terrific rain storm. We threw our belongings into the car with great haste only missing the downpour by about 1 minute. SPRING! Ha!
The many times I have walked out on the Padilla Bay trail have blessed me with such beautiful sunsets and glorious days it is worth repeating on canvas. This area is full of bird life, dramatic clouds and reflections. This piece is 12x24, oil on canvas.
It is such a lovely time to be in a gallery and know that my paintings are appreciated. This scene looking from the Bayview trail towards Canada just went to a gallery. It has been loved and treasured in my living room for a few years but now it is time for a new home.
Edison is a very small town which has 3 art galleries, a bakery with food that makes you want to taste everything, and a few restaurants which keep visitors coming back. Only one road through town which takes about 1 minute to drive through, but people seem to come there on a regular basis. One of my art friends (whose works I have several of) lived there and painted scenes like this in pastel. The slough is part of this town and the ocean sound is just seconds away. This is one of my favorite places to visit, only about 10 miles from home, and I was lucky to have a sunny day. Oil on masonite 8x14.
"Cinco de Mayo in the Skagit Valley is a wonderful celebration of the Mexican population, their contribution to the valley's culture and the work they do. Many of the children of these farm working families need after hour school support. The Children of the Valley organization was formed to "provide a positive, caring, and supportive environment for children of low-income families" during those hours. The organization holds an annual fund raising event on the weekend of Cinco de Mayo and artists are invited to contribute a painting or two for this event. Last year I had one painting to offer and this year I will contribute two. It is a fun time to rub elbows with the community and give something back which makes me happy. Below are the two works for my entry. Each of these oil paintings is on 6x6 masonite, unframed. http://childrenofthevalleymv.org
With the end of the year rapidly approaching and inclement weather outdoors, my focus in the studio turns to still life sets and flowers. I love to find drama in flowers when I look for something to paint and with my love of Georgia O'Keeffe's work I sometimes think it would be great to paint in her style. However, my own style is what I continue to follow and this Lily was on the agenda last week. Merry Christmas everyone.
When it's gray outside, and the wind cuts through the clothes, it's time to paint indoors. On my many hikes into the Mt. Baker National Forest is a hike to Winchester lookout. It is less than 2 miles long and about 1300 feet elevation gain and the rewards are stunning. We hiked this last year during the fall, me carrying my paint gear. I didn't paint this scene then but I knew I would one day. 16x20 oil on canvas.
Winter brings me indoors searching for compositions and still life opportunities. These sets always provide me with challenges which help me progress in painting. Some of the challenges are how to deal with the background, what do I want the focus point to be, what color combinations to use, placement of objects etc. etc. I wanted my platform to have a shiny surface so right away I drove to the second hand hardware store and found a piece of black granite that was someone's throw away sink. It had broken into the perfect size. I set my objects on that and put up a warm background, then turned on the light. Using transparent red oxide to create the design, I then started adding color. About the same time, it started snowing outside so when it came time to take a break I could look out and see the squirrels and birds foraging for food, and watch the big flakes come down. This work took me 8 hours or so (with interruptions of course). The shine from the oil is still present on the picture but will go away with drying.
When the sunflowers are in bloom, I know that winter is right around the corner. It means it's time to get my still life mind in gear and start setting up my studio for a winter of work indoors! I love sunflowers! They sing the glory that is big and bright and oh so beautiful! Oil on masonite 8x10.
Sometimes a view from high on the mountain top brings new thoughts and perspective. Last week we drove up Little Mountain just outside of Mt. Vernon and parked at the top. High above the hustle and bustle of traffic coming and going below, the Olympic mountains beyond, puget sound and farmlands in the foreground, all congealed into patterns familiar to those who live in the Skagit Valley. I was immediately put off by the vastness of the scene, but after consideration, decided it was worth the effort to paint.