We all had a lovely, restful winter break, and my boys and I are back in the swing of school and basketball and my 'other' job, substitute teaching. Well, until today, that is, - it's a snow day!
Snow is rare in our town, so it makes everyone a little giddy. I love the enthusiasm. :)
My favorite part of snow is all the reflected light bouncing around. We get pretty used to gray skies in the winter, but the brightness of snow and today's sunny skies are a boost I didn't know I needed.
This scene is from a drive to my sister's house in the Columbia River Gorge. This is the town of Stevenson, WA, - those lovely hills across the river are in Oregon.
This is the Umpqua River Light, standing proud near the mouth of the Umpqua River on the southern Oregon coast. She's a beaut. I painted this one several years ago, and it's fun to see how my methods have changed.
It's summer, and I finally found some time to paint!
I live in a lovely, very hilly part of our state. It is stunning.
But, the Minnesota farm girl in me sometimes has cravings for wide open spaces.
(I just want to see the sun actually set, is that asking too much? ;) )
On Mother's Day, my sweet husband took us on a jaunt to the beautiful farmland about an hour to our south. The crimson clover was blooming and it was so cool. We spent the whole day wandering back roads and taking photos. I loved it! (Even the bored back-seaters didn't complain. Too much. :) )
The sailing vessel 'Peter Iredale' ran aground on the northern coast of Oregon in 1906. The crew of 27 were all rescued, and the ship sustained minimal damage. Before it could be towed safely back to sea, the ship became embedded in the sand, and the Peter Iredale was there to stay.
My family and I love to visit what remains of old Peter; this is a sunset scene from a few winters ago.
(This painting is my donation to the annual fundraising auction at my boys' grade school.)
Much of my painting inspiration comes from photos taken on our road trips to Minnesota.
My husband does most of the driving, and I chill in shotgun position watching the scenery. I always pack some sort of reading material or activity for myself, but inevitably spend most of my time taking and editing pics on my phone. (And handing out snacks to all four of my guys. So many snacks! :) )
I just love these family road trips and the memories we make along the way.
This is one of those road trip scenes, captured last summer as we cruised back home through a sunny and very hot Montana. (I love hot Montana.) I google-mapped it when I finished the painting and found this little gem is Snook's Diner in White Sulphur Springs. Enjoy!
I'm still a big fan of these vintage canning jars, and about once a year I see if I've gotten any better at painting them. I think there's a little improvement, but always room for more. :)
I finished this one just in time to be included in my 2019 wall calendar, and I also got those ordered today! Whew! :) They should arrive by the end of this week, so watch for ordering info in the next day or so. 😊
Wallace, Idaho, is a beautiful little town tucked in the mountains of northern Idaho.
We've passed through via I-90 dozens of times, but I don't recall ever stopping there before this summer. It's a gorgeous place, and I've wanted to explore since learning that the movie Dante's Peak was filmed there. (Yup, I'm old.)
My family and I spent a couple hours wandering the streets and shops of Wallace, and this was our last view as we headed back to our vehicle. I just love how the sun is glowing on the hills behind that wonderful bootmakers sign. So lovely.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we recently returned from our annual road trip to Minnesota. We had a great trip, and now we're happy to be home and back to our regular summer activities.
There aren't a lot of different routes to get from Oregon to Minnesota, but it sure is fun to try make new ones. We squeezed in a little variety both ways this year, and I now have a handful of new elevator pics to turn into art. I just love them. 'Broadwater Grain & Supply' is one of two that I snapped in Townsend, Montana. I find elevators to be deceivingly difficult to paint, but I'm very pleased with where this one ended up. Enjoy!
My sister Greta and I live a couple hours apart, but we're both just a few miles from the mighty Columbia River. When we travel to Greta's house, the quickest route takes us over the river three times. All of the crossings are beautiful, but my favorite is the last one, the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks, Oregon. The gorge and river views are always stunning, but on our last visit, the setting sun stole the show. Lovely.
A scene from the lovely 'old gym' at my boys' school.
Many coats of paint on wood-paneled walls, decades worth of lacquer on hardwood floors, - it's one of my favorite rooms in the school. On sunny days, the whole gym glows with warm light from the high, gridded windows. This chair takes advantage of prime real estate, sunbathing in leisure.
It reminds me of mid-winter afternoons as a kid, - sprawling on sun-warmed rectangles of living room carpet.
Life has been so very busy, - I started a little part-time work at my boys' school, and also...
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that all three of my sons played baseball this year, and between them we had 52 games of baseball! (Minus a few rain cancellations.) Whew!
It really is a blast watching them play, but now, the season is over, school is out, and I finally finished a painting! Yay!
Our town has the sweetest little Farmer's Market on Saturdays, and I got this lovely bunch of radishes there on opening day. They were fun to paint, and I'm hoping to add some other 'found at the Farmer's Market' treasures to my work this summer. I can't wait!
It's Spring Auction time at my boys' grade school!
Our wonderful teachers and staff work tirelessly for months, gathering donations and creating beautiful classroom projects to be auctioned off. It's such a great community event and I'm always so happy to be a part of it. This year, the funds raised will go toward the creation of a dedicated art/science lab in the school, so I couldn't help but get a little extra 'artsy' in my contribution. :)
A special thank you to my fourth grade teacher; the first in a long list of teachers that fueled my own love of art. (And introduced me to Shel Silverstein. :) )
Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child, Listen to the DON'TS Listen to the SHOULDN'TS The IMPOSSIBLES, the WONT'S Listen to the NEVER HAVES Then listen close to me -- Anything can happen, child, ANYTHING can be.
A couple of Novembers ago, I was a chaperone for my middle son's class trip to see a play in Portland. The theater is adjacent to the South Park blocks; twelve continuous blocks that form a linear park in the heart of the city's cultural district. Each block overflows with nature and public art. Our group parked near the north end and had a little 'bench picnic' with Abraham Lincoln. :) While we ate, I snapped a few photos of our buses. I'm not sure why I have this thing for school buses, - in this instance, I just really liked how they popped against the leafless trees and the gray sky.
Sometimes paintings flow easily; most times they hit a bump or two. This one was almost all bumps, lol. I nearly gave up about three-quarters through, but after sleeping on it (not literally), I tried again with fresh eyes and finally got it to a happy place. Enjoy. :)
Winter is doing its normal thing here; just plenty of rainin', and maybe some blowin', and most days heavy with a comforting blanket of gray. We've seen the sun often enough to stay afloat, boosted by those miraculous rays. I'm still into these dark and cozy January evenings, but it sure is pleasant to think back, to dream ahead; looking forward to the golden warm evenings of summer.
I captured this summer eve a few years ago while wandering around the flat, farmy dikelands of the Columbia River in Oregon. I'm very happy with how it came out.
When one of your sisters is scrolling through cute cow paintings online and you're an artist, well, you gotta make your sister a cute cow (calf ) painting! :)
This is larger than my norm, and I used acrylics which I don't typically do, so it was a fun change of pace. Just messin' around with big brushes and big blobs of paint; - a great way to start my new year!
Printed on premium glossy card stock and spiral bound.
Every November I choose my favorite paintings from the previous twelve months and put them all in a calendar. It's a fun way to watch my work, and, they make great prints for framing when the year is over. Enjoy in 2018 and beyond!