Wednesday, December 19, 2012

50. Jar Light, Jar Bright

'Jar Light, Jar Bright'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Number Fifty! Woohoo!
My husband declared number forty-nine my best so far, and, well, that sure sounded like a challenge to me. ;)
So, here's fifty. I don't know if it's better, but I like it just as much as 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Jar'. In addition to the twinkle lights at the base, these Ball jars have tea lights floating in them - I love how they glow from within!

Because it's fifty and it's Christmas and I love a giveaway -- I'm giving this one away! 
To be entered into the drawing, head on over to my Facebook page, 'like' the page, and then 'like' and 'share' the photo of this painting. That's it! Easy.
Winner will be announced on Friday, Dec. 21st at noon PST. 


Thursday, December 13, 2012

49. Twinkle Twinkle Little Jar

'Twinkle Twinkle Little Jar'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

This little scene is straight from my dining room - I'm having a blue Christmas this year. My sparkly set up with candy canes and twinkle lights was just begging to be painted, and seemed the perfect opportunity to attempt these lovely blue jars. I had a great time. 

Naming the painting was fun, too...the options were endless; 'Jar Light Jar Bright', 'Red White and Blue Christmas', 'Jars and Stripes Forever', 'O Little Jar of Bethlehem'... ha! Just kidding on that last one. :) 


Oh, since I last posted, we celebrated my oldest son's 7th birthday - here's a shot of the birthday boy and his Bad Piggies cake.
It was a hit. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 7, 2012

48. Handling It

'Handling It'
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

This was so fun! I put paint to board in paint-by-number style, one section at a time. Well, I guess I normally work that way, but this seemed dramatically more so with all those squiggly lines. These are borrowed antique...retro... vintage? Well, old spatulas with irresistible handles set on a tablecloth of same description. I recently received a bunch of these kind of tablecloths and I'm looking forward to using more of them in paintings. 

Speaking of paint-by-numbers - did you ever actually complete one? As an artsy kid, I was given (and probably begged for) more than one, but never actually finished any of them! In hindsight, I realize why -- the brushes and paints are terrible! Gotta have the right tools for the job. I still like the look of a nice paint by number - maybe I should buy one and try it with a decent brush.

Anyway, it's Friday! Tomorrow, one of my sisters and her family are coming to visit and we're celebrating my oldest son's seventh birthday. :)
I better get hoppin' on that Bad Piggies cake. 
Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas decor and Etsy store

36" x 18"
acrylic on canvas

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas around here!

I don't own a nativity set, and after doing a little online shopping research, I couldn't stop my inner DIY-er from taking matters into her own hands. 
She can be so stubborn! And cheap. :)

I cobbled this together with the help of some clipart searches, so, not super original, but I thought you might like to see it anyway. 

At home above the piano - sorry 'bout the poor photo quality.

My small paintings might be missing all week - my oldest turns seven on Sunday and the DIY-er thinks she needs to surprise him with a Bad Piggies cake! We shall see...

Oh, almost forgot - I'm trying to free up some space in my painting corner, and no one loves a bargain more than me, so prices are falling in my Etsy store! Check it out - I'll be adding a few more of my older paintings soon.

I hope you're enjoying the Christmas season!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

47. Waiting Their Turn

'Waiting Their Turn'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Three paintings in three days! Yay.
This one was actually started a few weeks back, and since my time was short today, I thought I'd finish it instead of starting a whole new one.
Leaves are fun to paint. :)

I'm not sure if I'll have more to post this week - my sister and her family are coming to the NW tomorrow and my house looks like I've been painting for three days straight. :) Time to get things back in order.

Oh, one more thing - I'm coming up on painting number fifty! Woohoo! 
I've been planning for a while to give that one away in celebration, so...
keep an eye out for it -- I'll probably make you 'like' it on my Facebook page or...something...I'll let you know. :)

Have a good weekend if I don't see you before!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

46. New England Patriot

'New England Patriot'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Foggy November day in New Hampshire.

I took this photo years ago - maybe even a decade -- and it's been waiting patiently in my 'painting ideas' folder. 
Today, it called my name, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
A flag on a building - two of my very favorite things to paint.

not for sale

Monday, November 26, 2012

45. November's Last

'November's Last'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

November's sky...
Yesterday was brisk and sunny; crispy blue, yellow and green.

This is near the city park here in town -- you can just see the edge of the bridge featured in my last painting.


Monday, November 19, 2012

44. Bridge to the Park

"Bridge to the Park"
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

We're in the midst of a winter storm - which for us means a lot of rain, wind and flood warnings. Blustery, for sure, but hopefully not too damaging.
 I had to venture out to get my eldest to school and back, but other than that, I've been snug as a bug in my painting corner, enjoying some sunshiny scenes from several weeks ago.

This happy little red building, the 'Blue Nutria', is on the banks of the  Clatskanie River, just outside the city park.   


Friday, November 16, 2012

43. Boy Playing on Cedars

43. Boy Playing on Cedars
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Whew. This was a tough week for painting. 
I went to MN last weekend to help my parents celebrate milestone birthdays, and it was so great to be there, but it's taken me all week to recover! My sister Greta and I flew with my 21-month-old -- we could've used a couple more adults to keep the little bulldozer occupied! 
Greta is a blogger and party-thrower extraordinaire, and she loves to document all of her events - check out her blog if you'd like to see some of her crafty creations.

Ok, painting this week -- wiped off a couple or three, who remembers. 
Paint is running low and my favorite brushes are in a sad state, so I grabbed a couple of new ones from a craft store. 
I like them, but they're not as stiff as my favorites, so my painting became a lot looser than I tend to do. Fun, but different. Right?
At least it seems really different to me 
'cause the brushes felt so strange. 
I 'spose it's good to stretch one's self, even if one isn't really in the mood to be stretched. ;) (I'll be ordering those new brushes promptly.)

Anywho, 'Big Cedars' is a literally named park near Stevenson, WA.
It's not far from Greta's house, so we've been a few times, and I'm never not awed by the big cedars. (How's that double negative treatin' ya?)
I took this photo a few years back, and although I was SO very tempted to do away with the kiddo, (especially after the seventh try on his face) I really wanted the scale of the trees to be evident. 
No child = just ordinary cedars. These are the big ones. ;)
What do you think?

Hey. It's Friday. :) 
Happy Weekend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gallery debut...

After a little encouragement from friends and family, I shoved aside my fears and submitted several paintings to a gallery for a juried show.
I'm so thrilled to report that the Cannon Beach Gallery accepted all six of my submissions for their Miniatures Show!

There they are - in the middle of the far wall. :)
The Artist Reception.

I am very happy with these floating frames from Franken Frames -- affordable, high quality and the company provides great customer service.

The Miniatures Show runs through December 3rd, so if you're in Cannon Beach, OR, stop in and check them out!

Friday, November 2, 2012

42. Whatever Befall

'Whatever Befall'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

The painted wood windows of our church are tired, worn and lovely. 
All the more beautiful with glowing leaves beyond.

This painting is part of the Daily Paintworks Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser.
I will be donating 100% of the proceeds to Samaritan's Purse as they contribute in providing relief to those affected in New Jersey

To view all the of the donated artwork in DPW's Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser, visit the site by clicking on the link to the right.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

41. Weathered

6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Another scene from the Ecola State Park on the Oregon Coast.
The trees that are fully exposed to the wind and rain take a beating most of the year -- and become even more beautiful in the process.
A hearty one, for sure.

I had this all ready to post yesterday, and then today I thought my photo of the painting didn't look as accurate as I wanted, so, I started tweaking. :)
Sometimes getting an accurate photo of my work takes just as long as the painting itself!
The sun is gone today, so the bright overcast rainy sky (as opposed to the dark rainy days) helped me out. After repainting a little, well, maybe a lot, I took new photos near the window and I think I got it.
At least according to my monitor. ;)


Monday, October 29, 2012

40. Oregon Winter

'Oregon Winter'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I painted this over the weekend, when it was feeling very wintry -- meaning, we were getting soaked, not merely misted. :) 
Like a lot of the locals, I don't mind the rain, and I enjoy experiencing her bluster (in brief increments) at the coast. This is Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach - a favorite coastal destination. I took the photo several winters ago - my family had come out to visit in January - a little break from a Minnesota winter. :)

Anyhoo - rambling about our lame weather while Hurricane Sandy beats up the other end of the country. Sorry about that. 
I have lots of family and friends on the East Coast -- we're thinking about you and praying that you stay safe and dry!
Take care.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

39. McMinnville Tower

'McMinnville Tower'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I have a little obsession with grain elevators - and this one in McMinnville, Oregon, is one of my faves.
This building has had several different uses over the years, and currently
houses a retail store selling food for livestock and pets.

It's been two weeks since I've completed a painting, and that can be discouraging! But, I am quickly reminded that I have three little guys that won't always be here needing their mom -- and painting can wait. 
I'm just so very thankful that they - and their busy dad - are understanding enough to let me squeeze it in as much as I do. 
And that sleeping toddlers snuggle so nicely in my non-brush-holding hand. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

38. Red Ford at Colvin's

'Red Ford at Colvin's'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

We are enjoying absolutely stunning Fall weather here in Oregon, as if Summer decided that its late arrival warranted an overly lengthy stay.
I'm so loving it.

My husband joined me on a photo-taking walk on Sunday afternoon, and I was very excited to see this luscious vintage car parked so perfectly in front of Colvin's Grill.
SO red! I love painting red. And the red storefront trim...ahh.
He tells me it's a Ford, '46 or '47. (More than a Chevy guy is required to know. ) That's an old car!

I suppose it's a bit of a cliche to paint vintage cars - a little too 'precious', maybe, but they're just so pretty and curvy and shiny that I don't care.
And, I had just as much fun painting the lettering of Colvin's sign - all while  daydreaming about Bacon Burgers.  


Monday, October 8, 2012

37. Goodnight Clouds

'Goodnight Clouds'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Another photo from our summer road trip to Minnesota --
this one in eastern Montana as the sun was setting behind us.

For some reason it makes me think of the children's book, 
'Goodnight Moon'.
It's one of my favorites to read.
So calm and peaceful, everything all right in the world.

(Yeah, I know, quiet and peaceful eighteen-wheeler...?)

Ah, well, the boys were asleep, husband was wide awake behind the wheel, the road was me, it was restful. :)

Goodnight to the old lady whispering 'hush'.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

36. Peter Iredale

"Peter Iredale"
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

The Peter Iredale is a ship that met its end on the Oregon coast in 1906.  
The skeletal remains create a playground of sorts for beachcombers at Fort Stevens.

Monday, September 24, 2012

35. Reflecting Elm

'Reflecting Elm'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I had a chance to cruise nice and slowly around Lake Sacajawea in Longview, WA, the other day -- just me, my camera, my head cold and my youngest boy sleeping soundly in the back seat.

For such a beautiful fall day, there didn't seem to be a lot of people around, so I was able to mosey along, parking randomly, and stepping out here and there to get a better photo of the leafy sunshine.

At one point, the wind picked up and elm leaves just rained down all over us and the shady street. It was so very peaceful and warm and lovely.

This little fellow landed on my car and I had a great time painting him. 


Friday, September 21, 2012

34. Astoria Trolley

'Astoria Trolley'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

I like this one. A lot.
Especially the bell on top.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

33. Sunday Morning

'Sunday Morning'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

"Here is a church, here is the steeple,
open the doors, and see all the people!"

This church with the lovely steeple is in Astoria, Oregon.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

32. St. John's Bridge

St. John's Bridge
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

When we take the long way home from Portland, we pass one of the loveliest bridges around, the St. John's Bridge.
I can't get enough of those Gothic arches - stunning. 

I just realized I've never actually been over the St. John's -- hmm, we'll have to remedy that soon.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

31. Sunday Drive

'Sunday Drive'
6" x 6" 
Oil on gessoboard

This past Sunday, we enjoyed a leisurely afternoon in Astoria with my husband's family. 
As we headed toward home, this vintage Cadillac eased on by.
The lovely car caught my attention, and the passengers inside it made me smile -- four 'mature' heads, including a cute little bald one barely visible in the back. :)

School is back is session, and hopefully our lives will settle into a routine so I can paint a little more.
Thanks for sticking with me!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

30. Green Elevator

"Green Elevator"
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

Stormy skies beyond grain elevators in eastern Montana.

I was captivated by the elevators on our road trip -- we saw dozens -- and I attempted to photograph them all from my perch in shotgun. ;)

Can't wait to paint some more!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

29. Tree Fort

'Tree Fort'
5" x 7"
Oil on gessoboard

Sun, tree fort, cousins.

What more could you want?


Friday, August 17, 2012

28. Utilities

6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

Sunset on the dikelands of the Columbia River near Clatskanie, Oregon.


Monday, August 13, 2012

27. Sunday Evening

'Sunday Evening'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

Last night, we said 'see ya later' to some very, very dear friends.
Family, really.

Through the worst and best of days, they've been by our side.

Although it's difficult to imagine our lives without frequent doses of their hugs, hospitality and humor, we share in their excitement as they start a new chapter in a new state. Thankfully, that state is Minnesota, so we'll still get to see them on occasion. :)

These dear friends also happen to be big fans and collectors of my work. 
I've been deeply touched by their encouragement and support over the years, --- the kind of love that motivates me to keep pursuing my dreams.  
It means more to me than I know how to express. 

We'll miss you guys so very, very, much, and will cherish the memories of Sunday visits in your lovely, cozy home. 

See you soon. :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

26. Peeling Potatoes

"Peeling Potatoes"
7"x 5"
Oil on gessoboard

As I mentioned in the previous post, we recently attended a family reunion in Minnesota -- this is the other painting I did for the swap meet

I painted this at my sister's in Minnesota, just a few days before the reunion.
She took this photo last November; my (then) 92-year-old Grandpa Raphael and 86-year-old Grandma Linda peeling potatoes together for Thanksgiving dinner.  

We celebrated Raphael and Linda's 70th anniversary during the reunion, and they will be the first to humbly confess that the blessings of years, love and family are thanks to God alone. 

I am blessed by their example, and that of all the other faithful Ahos, Tumbergs, Paananens and Fiskaris that came before me. :) 

25. Aho Mailbox

Aho Mailbox
5" x 7"
Oil on gessoboard

We are finally back in Oregon after a wonderful two week trip to my home state of Minnesota. 

While there, we attended a family reunion and celebrated the 70th anniversary of my grandparents, Raphael and Linda Aho

As part of the reunion activities, we were asked to bring our best home/handmade fare to trade in a swap meet -- this is one of the items we brought - a quick painting I did of my grandparents' mailbox. I have some pretty creative and industrious rellies so it was really cool to see all their hard work! Everything from homemade jerky and pickles to custom pillows made by my super-crafty sister Greta, fresh bread from my uncle and Grandma, home decor, jewelry, magnets -- so much creativity! 
I love seeing what people come up with.

We are thoroughly enjoying the homegrown salsa received in trade. :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

24. Young Blue Eyes

'Young Blue Eyes'
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

These cute little Border Collie bundles were born a few years back on the family farm in Minnesota.  

I'm in love with their baby blues.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

23. Brown Barn

'Brown Barn'
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

Wow - over two weeks since I painted -- that's too long! 
Feels great to have a brush in my hand again.

This barn is near my sister's house in Mill A, Washington.
My kind husband turned the car around so I could capture this shot - the evening sun was making some crazy awesome shadows. 

I might do another version of this one - man, I love those shadows.

Update: After talking to my sister, I learned that this barn belongs to a very dear friend of hers. I like it even more now!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

22. Rotary Dial Hotwheel

'Rotary Dial Hotwheel'
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

So, 'daily painting' is not exactly a reality for a mother of three boys ages six and under. It's more like 'fifteen minutes here, ten minutes there - painting', but it's all good. I get to be home with my monkeys and pursue my dreams all at the same time.

My littlest guy (16 months) likes to play with his cars on this window sill -- I didn't notice this one 'til after I had taken a bunch of photos. I like it.

And I think he likes the painting --
"Car! Car!"
A chubby little finger, pointing, over and over.  
So stinkin' adorable. :)


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

21. Spotlight on Old Blue

'Spotlight on Old Blue'
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

A weathered spotlight on a 1972 Peterbilt truck.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

20. June 14

'June 14'
6" x 6" 
Oil on gessoboard

Hmmm, another flag. 
They've really captured my attention.

Happy Flag Day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

19. Whose Broad Stripes

'Whose Broad Stripes'
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

A few Memorial Days ago; saluting the brave.

A slow start this week - being tired makes it very hard to get in the groove!
I tried and gave up on a handful of other subjects before finally settling on this one. I rediscovered this photo from five (or so) years ago and thought it would work nicely for the Stripe Challenge on Daily Paintworks.

This was so much fun to paint and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. The stars on the biggest flag were the most difficult part - super challenging to keep a star just the right amount of 'loose'.

It's so exciting when a painting comes out relatively close to how I imagine -- really spurs me on to the next. I love this kind of learning!

Friday, June 1, 2012

18. Engine No. 2

Engine No. 2
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

Who doesn't love a parade?
Ours is on the 4th of July, the last day of 'Heritage Days', our town's annual celebration. 
Family and friends, beautiful sunshiny skies -- it's a highlight of our year, always.
This year it will be much more than that, I'm sure.
Missing you very much, Deana.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

17. Last Light

'Last Light'
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

This charming church is right around the corner from us - I have photos of it in nearly every light and weather condition. 
This light is one of my favorites.

After a solidly gray day, the sun drops below the cloud layer and momentarily highlights the land with warm, orange light. 
Long, deep shadows and brilliantly illuminated trees and rooftops. 

A lovely goodnight.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

16. California Poppies

California Poppies
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

Did I mention that I bought new paint? 
Frugal-me was trying to use up my starter stuff before I moved on...but I kept getting frustrated. Ack! Why did I wait so long? 
This stuff is amazing -- and actually quite frugal!
I literally just copied (the amazing) Carol Marine's palette -- took my list to Utrecht and am now a very happy camper!

As a novice with oils, I had no idea where to start - Carol's tutorials on DPW have been invaluable to me. I especially appreciate the 'My Materials' one - if you're interested in oil painting and are clueless like me, I HIGHLY recommend.

Anyway, today's painting...I love, love, love California poppies. Yesterday, I snapped a few photos of them beaming at the incredible blue sky.
 They make me smile. :)


Friday, May 25, 2012

15. Dusk on top of the World

Dusk on top of the World
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

A couple of summers ago, my husband and father-in-law rebuilt a washed-out road high up in the Willapa Hills of western Washington. 'Hills' being a grand understatement in this flat-lander's opinion -- the highest ones are over 3000'! 

I took our two (at the time) little boys up to visit the job site  - the drive would have been harrowing were it not a bright, beautiful August day. Once we arrived at the peak of this knob, the views were incredible -- we were, for sure, on top of the world. :) 

We stayed through a beautiful sunset and then my kind husband drove ahead of us back down the 'hill', so I didn't have to navigate in the dark. 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

14. Finnish Glass (Iittala) Votive Holder

Finnish Glass (Iittala) Votive Holder
6" x 6"
Oil on Gessoboard

Got new paint! 
Happy Birthday to me.

Can't wait 'til tomorrow to play with it some more.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

13. Jar, Blocks and Hymnal

Jar, Blocks and Hymnal
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

The morning sun through this frosted window is just so pleasant -- 
I grabbed a few things and tried to capture it. 
Adams Peanut Butter jar (partially filled with water), some of my baby's blocks behind it and all resting on an old hymnal.

The toys and hymnal are vintage, well used and loved -- my favorite sort of thing, and I have a strange fascination with those peanut butter jars! They're just so simple and substantial and sturdy. When the PB is gone, I use them to store raisins and other snacky things. And brushes and pencils and whatever I can find. It just kills me to let one go to recycling! I like 'em a lot. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

12. Truck Shop

Truck Shop
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

In our small town, this shop built into a hillside is one of my favorite structures. A local logging company uses it for maintenance on their trucks and equipment. This is the narrow end, it continues to the right with half a dozen doors of varying sizes, all in a lovely faded red.

It reminds me of my childhood on the farm.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

11. Zero Fan

Zero Fan
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

I love these mid-century fans. This is not the first attempt I've made, and I'm sure it won't be the last. The shiny-shadowy-complexity is super challenging and (mostly) so much fun.  

This time around, loosy-goosy was the goal, but it was still difficult to put the brush down. I could easily get carried away and avoid all other responsibility for days. 

But, on to the next. Whew!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

10. Tomato, tomato

Tomato, Tomato
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

I have a small collection of vintage hand/shaving mirrors that I love - the less refined, the better. This is one of my favorites.

Even though the shocking red tomatoes jump right out and grab ya, I can't stop looking past them to the shadows. I'm kind of diggin' 'em.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

9. Upright Fork

Upright Fork
6" x 6"
oil on gessoboard

A little change of pace today. 
Painting as quickly as I can and trying not to get too fussy.
What do you think?


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

8. Milepost 75

Milepost 75
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

A little more blue sky in May...

In May of 2010, my husband and I went on a weekend road trip in Washington state for my birthday. This painting is based on a photo I took as we headed east on I-90 and waved goodbye to the rain.

I actually really like gray and overcast, but nothing beats a deep blue sky with lots of fluffy, white clouds.

7. Mt. Hood in May (Re-do)

Mt. Hood in May
6" x 6"
Oil on gessoboard

Yay, May!
So nice to see blue skies a little more often.

This painting of Mt. Hood was inspired by a photo I took in May of 2009.  
The view is from the east, a side of the mountain I rarely see.

So, shortly after I photographed this painting, it took a nosedive onto my front step. In the process of 'fixing', I changed it up a bit.

Here's how it looks now: