Friday, May 31, 2013

The Mighty Friesian - SOLD

"The Mighty"  SOLD
ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inches) watercolor on paper

'The horses paw and prance and neigh,
Fillies and colts like kittens play,
And dance and toss their rippled manes
Shining and soft as silken skeins...'
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

I'm sure I'm not the only girl who dreamed of owning a beautiful black stallion as a girl. I can't believe that this is actually the first one I've ever painted! Excluding those ones done in crayon and marker of course. ;) Horse girls everywhere are shaking their heads in disappointment of me. 

This horse is the mighty Keegan Jewell, a truly  magnificent Friesian stallion.  I think I will have to paint a large one of him, just for me. To hang in my bedroom (that's right hubby, you heard me, a giant horse painting in our room!). 

*Fess Up Friday: All kinds of questions keep running through my head lately about the direction I want to take my art. Medium? Subject? Size? These seem like such small concerns and yet, they will not leave me alone. I feel like I'm headed somewhere different, I just. . . don't know where. Anyone else ever feel like this? And what did you do about it? Inquiring minds want to know. Have a great weekend everyone. 

*this is a new feature I'm thinking of starting. Because I know you all just can't get enough of the inner workings of my scattered mind. ;)

Reference photo, with thanks, by Larissa Allen

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nurtured By My Side

'Nurtured By My Side'
5 x 7 oil on masonite

'Baby mine, don't you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine

From your head to your toes
You're not much, goodness knows
But you're so precious to me
Cute as can be, baby of mine.'

When all my children were babies I would often sing to them, very quietly, as I held them and rocked them to sleep. Counting precious little fingers and marveling at the strength of such a little hand when it grasped onto mine. This song, from Dumbo one of my favorite Disney movies, was what I always sang to my youngest. And I can't listen to it without it bringing tears to my eyes, reminding me of those sweet, fleeting days. 

This little foal was born just a few days before I took this photo. And every time he stood up to nurse his mother stood so very still. Barely swishing her tail at the flies, unless they landed on him. She knew somehow where they landed. She stood ever calm, patient, steady, and watchful. It was another piece of evidence to me that a powerful love, especially a mother's love, doesn't belong to humans alone.

In other news I've been out of town a few days this week. For my birthday my husband got me tickets to see ZZ Ward, my FAVORITE musician in the entire world! So we made the five hour drive up to Boise, Idaho to see the concert and spent a few days there. 

ZZ Ward, with her trademark fedora hat. She was awesome. Every bit as good live as she is recorded. 

And I found my new favorite band too. This is You Me & Apollo, who opened for ZZ, and they seriously rocked. Like in a spectacularly amazingful way. Seriously. If you like Indie/Alt rock you should check them out. Pretty undiscovered right now, but they shouldn't be for long because they are awesome.

It was pretty rainy and cold while we were there but we did do a bit of sight seeing. There was this gorgeous bridge built in 1925 (I think), that went across a huge river. We don't have rivers like that in my neck of the woods in Utah. Which is a bummer. 

We also saw a ton (and by ton, I mean TON) of people playing (wait for it) Frisbee golf. This is like a real thing. I had no idea. These people take their frisbee golf seriously, they have different sized frisbees for different shots and everything. I must be sheltered because I seriously did not know such a thing existed. Nor was I aware of the zeal of its supporters. Wow. If you want to see a pic (because I didn't take one) here's a link on Wiki.

And another strange thing we saw was a bike bar. Not like a 'biker bar' with motorcycles, leather, and tattoos. No, no. Nothing like that. This is a literal Bike Bar. A moving bike type thing with a bar. Seats fourteen people. Yup. I can't make stuff like this up people. I'm not that creative.

You can see a pic of one here, because again, I slacked at getting a picture of this strange novelty.

And apparently squirrels are to Idaho, what seagulls are to Utah. Little scavengers who are not afraid of humans at all and practically scamper up your leg for food as you try to get to your car. I had some cookies in my hands as we left our bed and breakfast and those squirrels had their eyes on them. I feared for my cookies safety. It was a tense moment. It takes a brave soul to stroll through a Boise park without a few crumbs of food. Prepare thyself fair parkgoer lest ye shall face the wrath of the squirrels.

It was a good time. A great time. But it's good to be home too. . . where my cookies are safe from squirrels and I am not in danger of being beaned in the head by an errant frisbee.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Azure Eyes SOLD

"Azure Eyes" SOLD
5 x 7 inches
oil on masonite panel

I think I've talked a few times about one of the horses I had growing up that meant a lot to me. But I don't think I've ever mentioned that he had one blue eye. Ever since him I have had a soft spot for blue eyed horses. 

Growing up I actually had two horses that had blue eyes, but my boy Stormy is the one who meant the most to me. Both of them were the kind of horses that come into your life for a reason and change you, and then leave far too soon. This painting is my own little tribute to all those horses that impact our lives for the better.

Happy Memorial Day everyone. :) 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Juicies SOLD

 'Juicies'  SOLD
4 x 6 inches 
watercolor on paper

So. I've decided that this painting needs a home to love him. This was one of my favorite still life's that I've painted. I just LOVE the color of the oranges and the shadows. And the light. Of course. It's always about the light. 

I think I need to paint some more backlit fruit since it's nearly summer and all. :)

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Sky In Her Eyes

'The Sky In Her Eyes'  
6 x 9 inches
watercolor on paper
'The brightest light, the light of Italy, the purest sky of Scandinavia in the month of June is only a half-light when one compares it to the light of childhood.' Eugene Ionesco 
I have to confess that I am not very well read on world news and the politics of other countries. I don't know a lot about what life is like for the people that I paint who live so far away from me. I don't know statistics of their countries or interesting facts. I might even be unable to point out this girl's city on a globe, if I'm being completely honest.* 

But that has never been what this project has been about to me. I love children. I love their innocence and wonder. I love wondering who they will grow up to become. I love knowing that somewhere this little person, if they are lucky and I hope and pray that they really are, is loved by their mother just as much as my boys are loved by me. 

So even though I don't know the specifics of where these children are from I still feel like we're connected because I have loved a child with all my heart (more than one :) who is just like them in almost all respects save geographical location. 

This beautiful girl is from Southern India, reference photo generously provided by the amazing Steve Evans (babbasteve on Flickr).

*Because I know that many of these children that I paint live in less than ideal conditions you can click here to read about my way of giving back

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New watercolor portrait work in progress

work in progress watercolor portrait 

It's been a very long time since I painted a watercolor portrait that wasn't a commission. I think it's been since January. Wow. I kind of can't believe that. I just went and looked it up and it HAS been since January. That's a long time for me. 

This painting is based on a photo by the amazing Steve Evans, of a beautiful young girl from South India. This section is just a close up, the full painting is all of her face and some of her arm too. I fell in love with her eyes. So sincere, so alive. I'm very excited to get back to painting it. 

And here's a peek at what's been going on during my 'dragon days.'

 A little horse bust I sculpted on my birthday last week. Just for fun. :) 

My latest sculpting project. A bigger, more detailed horse sculpture. Hopefully, if everything works out, this will be a full body gypsy horse when it's finished. That's the goal anyway. :)

I am feeling SO excited about this little side project right now. It is filling up my creative well in a big way. 

Anyone out there tried sculpting before? And, what's something you guys do to refuel your creative fire?  



Saturday, May 18, 2013


'Sun Spots'  Andalusian stallion
ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inches) 
watercolor on paper SOLD

“The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable and grace unlike any other, still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back.”
― Amber Senti
Last night my husband and son's went to a father and son's camp out put on by our church. So I had the whole house to myself. All. Night. Long. I think this has happened about three times in the whole time we've been married. It was very. . . lonely. Although it was nice to not have to share my red vines and peppermint patties with anyone and not hear complaints about having to watch the latest Vampire Diaries. Heh heh. ;) But I would have willingly shared them to have them home. 

I did a lot of drawing for future watercolor paintings and then did this little ACEO to ease myself back into watercolor painting. That's what I told myself anyway, but when I started painting it was like I had never left. It didn't feel unfamiliar at all. Like welcoming an old friend home after a long trip abroad.

Although there was one bad piece of news that happened right before the boys left. Our dog Chauncy had been limping all day and then his front paw started to swell up HUGELY, so I took him to the vet and he's now resting and on antibiotics for a blood blister and infection in his paw. The vet says he'll be fine, but Chauncy is not happy about this. 

*pouting because mom is making me wear this stupid bandage on my paw so I can't lick it. Better than the cone of shame I guess. . . SQUIRREL! Too bad I can't chase it*
See you Monday my friends, enjoy your weekend! 

Reference photo, with thanks, by Deidre T on deviantART.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


5 x 7 inches oil on masonite
$65 plus $7 US shipping, or $15 International

'Fire burns brighter in the darkness.' - Suzanne Collins

I don't paint very many cats. I don't know why because it's not that I don't like cats. I do. Especially kittens. Because they're cute. And especially big cats, because they are just plain gaawgeous right?

Of all the big cats the Clouded Leopard, in this painting,  is my favorite. So striking with their dark spots and creamy brown fur. Their eyes seem to be a bit larger than most other big cats too, which is so beautiful. 

The eyes, once again, inspired this painting. There seemed to be a spark there just waiting to be fanned into a flame. I love that intensity in her gaze too. Not quite predatory here, but interested in something. Very, very interested.
Reference, with thanks, by Tammylo.

And THANK YOU so much for all the lovely birthday wishes! It was a great day. I"ll post a picture of my mountain of cupcakes my boys made me soon. And the winner of my sketch is Rob - Jackie Duff, facebook fan. Thanks so much for all the comments my friends! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dainty Scratches (SOLD) and a Birthday Huzzah!

'Dainty Scratches' SOLD
5 x 7 inches oil on masonite panel
Carrying on with the foals series of paintings. This little girl, Almirah of Gypsy Lane Farm, stole my heart when I saw her photo. She really has this sweet, dainty look about her, even though she also has that shapely, muscular build that is a trademark of her breed. 
In other news my friends, today is my birfday. :) 

Huzzah for me!! My family and friends have made me feel so loved with hugs, kisses, birthday wishes, phone calls, text messages, facebook messages, and the promise of birthday cupcakes (Hallelujah and Huzzah!! ) and handmade cards from my boys. 
It is a good day. How blessed we are to be alive.
And I'm also giving myself a dragon day. I've finished two commissions, heard back from happy clients, so now I plan to just have fun and take the day off. My little boy is sitting in my lap right now as we speak, er, I mean type. 
He likes to push the button on the web cam. :) 
And since it's my birthday,  and also because you all are so awesome. . . 
 I'm going to be giving away a page from my sketchbook to one of you. So if you'd like a chance to win it, just leave a comment telling me what your favorite subject that I paint is. You can comment here on my blog, or on my facebook page, or simply email it to me at 

And then on Wednesday night I will choose a random commenter to give one of my sketches to. 

This is also my chance to say thank you, so very much, for all your kindness and support throughout the years I've been blogging. Hope you all have a wonderful day. I know I will, I mean I have cupcakes and cheesecake (thanks mom, love you!) coming in my near future!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sun Seeker - Gypsy Vanner horse SOLD

'Sun Seeker'  - gypsy vanner SOLD
5 x 7 inch oil on masonite

“Yours is the light by which my spirit's born: - you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.”
― E.E. Cummings

Backlighting on a white horse is pretty much an ideal painting waiting to happen for me. The sunlight shining through that thick white mane created some truly beautiful colors that I could not wait to paint. I also really, really love that beautiful black head contrasted against the rest of his white body. I may do a full body painting of this boy in the future so you'll see that he does have more black spots than just this one. :)

I always worry that maybe I use color a little too. . . liberally, but that's just how I see things and I love color, so there you go. I think I should probably just embrace this fact of my painting style instead of stress over it. 

In any case I like how this turned out. And I am finding that the more I paint with oils the easier it is for me to mix colors vibrantly in a way that is very similar to my watercolor palette. I feel like with each oil painting I am discovering more about how I paint, and how I want to paint. I think that's why I'm using them so much right now. Lots to discover and learn and that keeps me motivated. It's when things start to feel routine that I start to get blocked I think. Found that out the hard way. ;) 

Reference photo, with thanks, by Notorious Stock on deviantART.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Understudy - Italian Greyhound SOLD

5 x 7 inches oil on masonite SOLD

I started painting this beautiful girl because of that dramatic lighting and that beautiful soul shining in her eyes. And then when I finished it I stood back and thought she would have made a great understudy for the girl in Vermeer's painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring. All she needed was a little blue towel wrapped around her cute head. I was tempted to go back in and give her an earring after I noticed that. Oh so tempted. Reference photo, with thanks, by Just Chaos.

In other news. . . 

My super fantastic sister got me the Most Awesome Shirt ever! Suits me don't you think? Pink, check. Cupcake eating reference, check. Nailed it!

Listening to: The National, A Terrible Love
Reading: The Great Gatsby
Watching: The Vampire Diaries
Snacking on: homemade white chocolate and dried cranberry cookies  (the sugar ban is a thing of the past. Moderation people. That's the name of the game now. I eat healthy stuff too. Most of the time. )

Friday, May 3, 2013

Refuse To Be Hidden - SOLD

'Refuse To Be Hidden'  SOLD
5 x 7 oil on masonite

'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.' -  Marianne Williamson

I often think about the fear that is a part of being a creative person and putting your heartfelt work out into this sometimes cold and cruel world. Maybe because it is one of my own personal demons and something I am constantly battling. 

This beautiful African girl, her bright, intelligent gaze, and the way she's coming out from her hiding place behind this tree, unafraid, really touched me. This is another one of those images that I have wanted to paint so badly for so long, but put off doing it for a long time because of the fear of not doing it justice. 

So I finally told that fear to shut the heck up and painted her anyway. Just because I wanted to. No, that's not entirely true. I felt like I needed to paint her. So I did. And I love it. :)

Reference photo, with thanks, by the awesome Steve Evans.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I choose gentleness

6 x 6 watercolor 

“I choose gentleness... Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.”
― Max Lucado
This woman's eyes have always drawn me in with their gentleness and grace. And the tentative curve of her smile too. An older painting from the archives that I painted last year, but one of my own personal favorites. 
Yesterday while out running, I was trying to cross at a crosswalk, and the driver turning right wasn't paying attention to pedestrians. I was watching her and I saw that she was not paying attention to me, or else I probably would have been hit. I got angry. I smacked her trunk as she drove away with my fist. The thing that made me so angry was that the crosswalk I was at was right in front of an elementary school, even though it was too early in the morning for any kids to be there yet. All I could think of was what if a smaller child had been there?  A little one who trusted the cars to look out for them? What if it had been my child who had almost gotten hit, or worse, by this driver who was too busy to look around them?

My point is that yesterday I was not gentle. I vented all about it on Facebook. And I kind of regret it. Although, hopefully my fist pounding her trunk woke that driver up enough that she'll never speed through another crosswalk again. So the little ones who cross there will always be safe. 
Life is precious, and short. We don't need to make it any shorter for anyone by not paying attention, or choosing not to be gentle. 
Until. . . later my friends. I'm off to eat some cookie dough for a mid morning snack. 

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