Monday, March 28, 2011

Cheesecake Revue

I spent the weekend releasing my innner burlesque dancer with the Cheescake revue. These girls are a fabulous group from Victoria and were so kind and so much fun.

They taught us a little dance routine, how to use pasties and decorated us up like show ponies. There was some awesome local talent discovered. Psst...can you make out my paintings on the wall behind these two?

I took my best shot and became...

Vixen Von Fleet!
If you look carefully in the lower left, you can make out my very foxy tail.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Abraham 8x10 acrylic collage

As a true daughter of the Land of Lincoln, I am a fan. He lived through the most challenging presidency of the nation. There is terrible beauty in that worn, haunted face. This is my offering to the Daily Paintworks challenges. I urge you to check out the site:

After college, I worked at the beautiful Prairie House gallery in Springfield located in part of what had been his law offices with Herndon . I always felt that I could turn a corner and meet him.

One night, my apprentice Rob and I were cleaning up the frame shop prior to leaving and heard noises from the rarely used third floor. We peered up the dark, narrow stairwell to see a dim white shape hovering at the top of the stairs. Screams ensued. Not only did we scare the heck out of ourselves but our gallery manager who had gone up to the third floor looking for packing materials in her light colored dress.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The back road

"The Back Road" 12x12 acrylic
I wish the photo were better. Things do not photograph well on grey days!

I love backroads. When Bruce and I go travelling, we ignore the boring interstates and find the meandering trails. Some of my favorites: almost anywhere along old route 66 in New Mexico or Arizona, ranch roads around Bandera, Texas (Texas has amazing roads, even barely travelled routes are 4- lane and well-kept) the Cowboy Trail [route 22] in southern Alberta, the country roads where I grew up in southern Illinois.

This painting was based on a photo Serena Thompson shared with me. Check out her blog: I can hardly wait for the Farm Chicks event in Spokane the beginning of June. I have already asked for a committment from Bruce to go down. Last year, we SCORED at yard sales prior to the show and then the show, well.... you just have to go see for yourself.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My necklaces

I have my necklaces mounted on a board in my bedroom. I find that if they are in a jewelry stash, I forget to wear them besides, I like looking at them. I have never been a refined jewelry/diamond kind of girl. I like ethnic and pearls. If my stupid ears weren't metal sensitive, I would wear earrings all the time. Anything less than 22K gold wires generally makes my ears burn like the devil and then weep but it is too expensive to put gold on all my cheap earrings. I am trying niobium hooks. I love the look of bracelets but tend to take them off when I am driving (and living here, I am always driving!) and then forget to put them back on.

Yesterday was a cold, wet, grim, grey day, outside and in my soul...I don't know why. I couldn't settle, or concentrate...nothing seemed worth painting. But I persevered. I started on the background for a alphabet painting, then jumped to a small landscape and then sketched out a figure painting, triggered an idea for a trio of figure paintings of one of my favorite models from three different angles. That should keep me busy for a bit. I guess the saying to keep on painting when you get stuck, might be true.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sometimes, I just want to delve into my huge fabric stash and make something. I probably have more fabric than I will ever be able to sew. I should just give a load of it to the thrift store. But, I am constantly bored and frustrated with the lack of personality and "fit"of storebought clothing. Occasionally, I go off on a tangent thinking that I will just make my own clothes, overlooking the hours involved in sewing and the excessive swearing when the fit is not right. This is this weekends effort. I find the arms bind a bit but I will probably wear it a few times. Fortunately, the fabric was probably picked up for a couple of bucks.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Badger 12x12 acrylic collage

Badgers are endangered here. They are losing their habitat and can't seem to adapt to vehicle traffic. I think they are very cool. Nancy Newhouse, a local conservationist, has done a lot of work to help protect them. I hope to find some dens this summer when I am out exploring. A couple of seasons ago, I had the amazing fortune to come by one little guy guarding his den. I hopped out of the truck and kept getting closer snapping photos all the while. Suddenly, he pierced me with a glare and stamped his feet. Having spent a few occasions fleeing out of a bull pasture, I recognized that international sign for "back off". My next thought was "How fierce are badgers and how fast can they run?"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Here's to cheating, stealing, fighting and drinking.

If you cheat, may it be a death;

if you steal, may it be a heart;

if you fight, may it be for your Friend;

and if you drink, may it be with me.

Please be aware that the image is a tinkered 19th century reproduction. I did not paint it.

Try Some

I found this peanut dispenser in an antique shop when I was in Nelson for a workshop last year. It doesn't look quite this souped up (oh, the wonders of photoshop!) but I am still quite fond of it.

There is a painter, Anne Hansen, in Victoria, that is quite a free spirit and has become an example to me. Well-known art critic, Robert Amos comments:

"When I began to compare her skill level to other artists and suggest ways in which she might make her paintings "better," she stopped me. "It's hard for me to see art as competitive. That's a kind of corporate way of thinking."

Right on Anne, for putting yourself first. Check out her work at:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Columbia To-do

"Columbia To-do" 16x20 acrylic collage

This is one of the first paintings I made when I moved to the valley. It reflects what my life was like at the time...becoming aware of the colors of the valley especially the strange milky turquoise color that the lake reflects on a sunny day...magpies and bones everywhere and lists endless to-do lists. It received a dismissive review at one of the local shows. That is when I decided I no longer wanted critiques from other painters. I am not painting for them. There was (and still is somewhat) a prevailing trend to paint realistic mountain scapes. There are so many people that do it so well. I decided to become the "anti-mountain" and follow a different path.

And darn it, I still like the painting.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Project


I have been looking for a younger dog for over a year. Kirra is slowing down and becoming hard of hearing. I need a dog that can accompany me on walks and hopefully be a watchdog. Fiona is a second hand dog. She is incorporating well in our household and is very attentive. We both need to shed some pounds so Fiona will be helping me with my goal to achieve 10k a day. The weather is improving so we will start building up the mileage right away. I have christened her Fiona ("Fee" for short), because it is gaelic for "light" or "fair". Kirra is grudgingly getting use to her but Jinx is quite indignant.

Doesn't she have a lovely smile.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


This is the inside of the binder. Each little pocket has a tag that can be pulled out showing the phase of the moon.

It would be nice if I could count. I had meant for there to be 28 pockets. Oh well, they wouldn't have fit. I may go back and give the strings a "tea" treatment. Please disregard the rebel floating blue scrap...

Friday, March 11, 2011


Myself and two other artists are going to undertake a collaboration of art journals. Each person gets to pick a theme and a format. This is my binder cover. My theme is the moon.

Irridescent paint is nearly impossible to photograph. I can hardly wait to see what my companions are coming up with.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sucker for a pretty glass

I like the old decorative glasses and can rarely pass them up at thrift stores. I find them much more interesting than what I can buy at the store and if I break one, there are no tears.

My grandma Laura said,¨ even water tastes better from a fancy glass.¨

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


a photo of an unglazed Newhouse teapot

OK, I was trying to work from reference photos of unglazed pots and try to paint them as they will appear once they are glazed. So not happening. Too much guess work about where reflections will fall. I couldn't paint a convincing color, everything turned out a horrible old hospital wall color!!..I was so frustrated I could have bitten someone. Bruce wisely stays away from me in these moments. I will try again today with different photo references. Duh!

Happy International Women's Day! I am hoping that unpaid work (generally done by women) will receive recognition of it's importance in the not too far future. How would the world turn if there were not those people who can cook, run a household and care for children and the elderly. Celebrate! Do something you couldn't do 50-100 years ago. Like:

Educate yourself about birth control
Acquire birth control
Walk into a beer parlor unescorted
Teach while pregnant
Hold any sort of job while pregnant
Have maternity benefits
Be recognized as a human being
Take out a mortgage
take out a loan
rent a telephone
Have a credit card in her own name

Monday, March 7, 2011

Paper Blooms

I have been admiring the paper flowers on the Aunt Peaches blogsite for some time now and decided to try a few of my own.

There are possiblilities here.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Here and There

Last Friday was the big move of the 2500 square foot log house that was on the Mike Vernon sub-division property. Mr. Vernon donated the building to the village to be used as their new municipal hall. It had to be moved several kilometers to the new site (on one of the coldest days of the year...I took these picture and then my camera froze). It was essential to have the roads frozen to bear the weight of the building.

Bruce and other members of council and the village worked long and hard organizing and applying for grants to make this possible. Note, the house is on wheels here.

The mover set a half-full glass of water on one of the kitchen counters and promised that it would still be sitting there when the move was accomplished. There will be some redecorating but this is a huge lovely building on a huge empty basement that will enable the village room to do all sorts of things. One of which is a community art room!

The little building on the left is the current village office. It consists of the receiving/secretarial area, the administrators office, two bathrooms, a small rear office, and a boardroom that is shared with the volunteer fire fighter service. I believe the whole building will now become the fire-fighters space and everyone else will move into the new hall as soon as possible. I think this is a wonderful re-use of a great building! I can hardly wait to see it when it is spruced up.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pink Kimono

Pink Kimono 16x16

This is my new favorite painting and will probably go on my business cards for a lot of this year.

I have to get busy and paint today. Yesterday, was spent drugged out trying to overcome a migraine. I did not have the focus to paint. What a waste of a day. Better than dry heaves for 48 hours though. I love living through modern medicine.

OSCAR REVIEW: Thank god I taped it and zoomed through it in about 30 minutes. I like Anne Hathaway but she was trying too hard, not funny and what's up with the stoned zombie with her (somebody should have gotten their money back for hiring that guy Franco)? I find Kirk Douglas kind of creepy even though he is still going at 94.