Small paintings from the Inland Northwest and beyond    |  H o m e    |   W e b s i t e

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pastoral Reverie IV

Pastoral Reverie IV - 6x6 - Oil on Panel


The poplars stand tall against the silhouetted landscape. I loved the simplicity of this scene, and the calm tones the smoke gave everything.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pastoral Reverie III

Pastoral Reverie III - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel


My favorite part of this series has been the many various shapes the trees create. The hazy smoke simplified them to basic outlines, and the groupings created very interesting patterns.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Pastoral Reverie II

Pastoral Reverie II - 6x6 - Oil on Panel


A peaceful summer day leans toward dusk, with the thick smell of smoke from distant fires coloring the sky.

This series has me missing summer. Here in the Tri-Cities we've had about 3-4 inches of snow today, which makes for a wonderful white Christmas and all, but I could do without the cold!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Pastoral Reverie I

Pastoral Reverie I - 6x6 - Oil on Panel


Smoke rolls into the Columbia Basin from fires in the mountains, blanketing the farm lands in a thick, warm haze. The landscape becomes more intimate, more simplified, and allows one to slip into a reverie.

Over the summer here in Washington State we had several major forest fires burning at once. All that smoke sank down into my home, the Columbia Basin. Even though it's been two years since I fought wildfires, the smell of smoke still gave me an adrenaline rush and dreams of the paycheck  a 120 hour work week brings in. 

But this summer I had to content myself with taking pictures, and enjoying the unique atmosphere the smoke gives to the acres of farmland around the Tri-Cities. Less adrenaline, but still quite a bit of enjoyment. I love the way smoke simplifies the shapes of everything, and gives such a peaceful and warm cast over the land.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winter Calm

Winter Calm - Oil on Panel - 6x6


A cold winter fog was cast over Bateman Island while I was taking a walk. I kept looking and looking for something that spoke to me, and then I turned around and saw this bend in the trail and the beautiful colors in the trees. Who knows what I would have painted had I not turned  around, but I'm glad I did!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Peace in the Foothills

Peace in the Foothills - 6x6 - Oil on Panel


I've been sorting through the thousands of photos I've taken over the year, looking for the ones that bring out the same feeling of the day they were taken. The cut wheat fields and foothills to the Blue Mountains are hallmarks of the Walla Walla, WA area. When I visited the air was thick with smoke from distant wildfires, making the distant trees bluer than they normally would be.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Down the Gorge IV

Down the Gorge IV - 6x6 - Oil on panel


The view from the top of the Rowena Crest along old Hwy 30 provides the final scene for my Columbia River Gorge series. The Columbia River rolls 800 feet below.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Down the Gorge III

Down the Gorge III - 6x6 - Oil on Panel


As I drove down the Columbia River Gorge the corridor turns from wooded hills to cheat grass covered desert. The weather system of fog and light snow followed behind me, casting a beautiful atmosphere over the landscape!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Down the Gorge II - Columbia River Painting

Down the Gorge II - Oil - Landscape - 6x6


No amount of expressive brushwork seems to be able to capture the chilling wind I felt at the top of the Rowena Crest when I drove along US 30, the Historic Columbia River Highway. But I tried anyway!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Down the Gorge I - Northwest Landscape

Down the Gorge I - Oil on Panel - 6x6 - Landscape


I am so excited about  this series! Last week I drove through the scenic Columbia River Gorge to take a class by the amazing Cathleen Rehfeld, and along the way I took as many pictures of the dramatic patterns of sky, earth and light as I could. This one is looking across the Columbia River and deeper west into the Gorge. So no matter how many virtual road trips I take through Alaska, I still love my home state!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Along the Parks Highway - Another Alaskan Google Maps Painting

Along the Parks Highway - 6x6 - Oil on Panel - Landscape


Yes. I do love "driving" around Alaska in Google Maps. Yes, I entertained the thought of living there for about 20 minutes, until my husband reminded me about that whole snow thing they have. I can barely take the occasional flurry we get here in the Tri-Cities, so maybe it's better I enjoy the 49th State from afar!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Roadside Creek, Alaska II - Google Maps Painting

Roadside Creek, Alaska II - 6x6 - Oil on Panel - Landscape


This braided creek was flowing down from a mountain valley along a highway in Alaska. The composition I found in Google Maps really caught me! I love the flowing pattern in the stream, it looked very untamed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Roadside Creek, Alaska - Daily Oil Painting

Roadside Creek, Alaska - 6x6 - Oil on Panel 


A view I found on Google Maps! I was surprised at how big a "creek" could be, I'd be virtually driving along and think "What a cool river!" then checking it's name realize it's a creek. Maybe I'm just easily impressed!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

White Bluffs Winter - Columbia River Basin Painting

White Bluffs Winter - Landscape - 6x6 - Oil on Panel

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I had a great time this week painting out at my favorite hike in the Tri-Cities area, the White Bluffs. The study didn't turn out so well, but it informed this little piece I did later in the studio!

Today I took a little road trip to Hood River, OR, to drop in on Cathleen Rehfeld's still life class. This was my very first time working in still life, and it turns out to be much harder than the pros make it look! But Cathleen is a great instructor, and a lot of the observational skills are very transferable to landscapes.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

At the Foot - Wallowa Valley Oil Painting

At the Foot - 6x6 - Landscape


Another scene brought to you by Google Maps! No, I'll never get tired of virtually driving around the beautiful Wallowa Valley of eastern Oregon. Since the Columbia River Gorge is in HD now as well, you may see some paintings from that area soon too!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sun Break - Cloudscape Painting

Sun Break - 6x8 - Landscape


There is something really touchingly beautiful about the light and shadow pattern created by clouds. I wanted to capture the movement of the clouds and their shadows over the Earth.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Forest Shadows - Daily Landscape Painting

Forest Shadows - 6x8 - Landscape


Wow! I think this may be the first vertically oriented painting I've done of a landscape. I'll admit, it made me a bit dizzy at first. But when I saw the reference photo it made me want to go take a walk through the trees, and I knew I had to paint it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Teanaway Ridge - Cle Elum Landscape Painting

Teanaway Ridge - 8x8 - Landscape

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After Peoh Point, the most interesting geologic feature near Cle Elum is in my opinion Teanaway Ridge. I love it's distinctive red basalt, littered with geodes and agates from what I've heard, and it's camel like humped ridge line.

I recently finished a large 24" x 36" painting (see it below), and let me tell you, switching gears and painting the little gems was hard! I started to feel almost claustrophobic. So to ease my tension a little bit, I bumped up my size to 8x8, and felt like I had more room to breathe. After the 8x8, the 6x8 and 6x6s came more readily off the brush. All I needed was a little transition I guess!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Almost Sunset - Cloud Painting

Almost Sunset - 6x6 - Landscape


I love big, puffy, interesting clouds! I've been painting a lot of clouds lately, they're endlessly fascinating. I wanted to capture that moment just before the real sunset begins, just as the horizon starts to glow.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Last Light on Peoh Point - Cle Elum Oil Painting

Last Light on Peoh Point - Oil on Panel - 6x6


The enchantingly unique Peoh Point, looming over Cle Elum in central Washington, had the most beautiful colors cast on it's face by the setting sun when I visited earlier this year. I loved the time I spent painting in the area, it's very paintable! =)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

High Desert Rain - Oregon landscape Painting

High Desert Rain - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel


Sometimes ideas need to percolate before painting them. The reference for this photo was taken last March outside of Bend, OR, as a snow and rain flurry blew past my husband and me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tidal Marsh - Marshland Oil Painting

Tidal Marsh - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel


What fascinated me most about this scene was the really delicate lacework patterns created by the tides. I felt like they were pulling me in!

Whimsical Day - Daily Painting

Whimsical Day - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel


I'm not sure why this painting's palette struck me as whimsical, I think it's the purple shadows and vivid gold hill, or maybe all the colors are just a little more pastel than I typically work. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I do think it was a fun palette to try!

Note: Collectors may notice that my shipping costs have gone up! It is because my original prices were set to cover the cost of packaging and shipping USPS First Class, but I've been for several months now shipping USPS Priority Mail for the peace of mind. I am very satisfied with this service, and so I've updated my price to reflect the cost of the upgraded shipping.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Summer Skies - Rattlesnake Mountain Painting

Summer Skies - 6x6 - Oil on Panel


While the Northwest is being pounded with wind and rain, I thought that a small reminder of the summer warmth was in order!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Windy Day Clouds - Oil landscape Painting

Windy Day Clouds - 6x6 - Oil on Panel


I learned a LOT from this painting. Lesson one: in winds over 30mph your easel is a sail. Lesson two: clouds move REALLY fast in 30mph winds. Like, probably around 30mph. his makes them VERY tricky to paint. Does this mean I'll never try it again? Nope! But now I can be prepared.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wonderland Highway - California I-5 painting

Along the Wonderland Highway - 6x8 - Oil on Canvas Panel


I HAD to paint this view from I-5 on Google Maps Streetview for two reasons. One: the gold and blue of the landscape really spoke to me and Two: For some reason, GMaps calls I-5 the "Wonderland Highway." Now, maybe it's just because I've grown up in the podunk hillbilly side of the Cascades, but I've never in my life heard anyone, anywhere, refer to it by that name. It kind of fascinated me, and I knew I simply couldn't resist!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Summer Marsh - McNary National Wildlife Refuge Plein Air painting

Summer Marsh - Oil on Panel - 6x6


Ah, these cold days have me remembering back to when I could paint on location without gloves and a hat! This little plein air piece was painted at the McNary National Wildlife Refuge: a beautiful little marshland outside of the Tri-Cities.

Recently I was hiking around and painting at Dry Falls here in Washington. It's a really beautiful area! I blogged about it here, and here's the finished painting:

Dry Falls Winter - 11x14 - Purchase Info

Monday, November 12, 2012

Evening's Approach - Small landscape Oil Painting

Evening's Approach - Oil on Canvas Panel - 6x8


It's apparent that the days are getting shorter; my plein air paintings seem to have a theme of the last light it's physically possible to paint  in! I loved the seeming glow of the rabbit brush with the dusky desert purples I stumbled across while walking along the Columbia River at Columbia Point Park in Richland. Honestly, my favorite detail in this one is the distant radio towers crowning Badger Mountain. Often I leave them out, but I thought they added a little man made intrusion to remind the viewer that this lovely little park is really in the middle of a city.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

McNary Twilight - Eastern Washington Landscape Painting

McNary Twilight - 6x6 - Oil on Gessobord - Landscape

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I have a really bad indulgence. It's driving. I love to drive on solo road trips as long as I can get away with! One great excuse I have is that "I'm looking for new painting spots," and that is half true. The other half is that I want to sing at the top of my lungs while watching the landscape fly by! Anyway, one result of my habit is that I found a new portion of the McNary National Wildlife Refuge in Burbank, WA, that I had never seen before! Not that it was particularly hidden, I had just never taken the road to the trail head before. The light was beginning to fade, but I was still able to catch the shifting reflections along the Columbia River and the soft shadows on the hills.

Wow! It's been a while since I've updated. Fear not, I've been plugging away in my studio, intensely focused on a few larger pieces, and exploring the State Parks here in Eastern Washington for the Plein Air Painters of Washington show in 2013 celebrating the Washington State park System's 100th birthday! Here are a couple shots from my adventures:

Field Springs State Park

Painting at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

Friday, October 5, 2012

Kittitas Clouds - Central Washington landscape painting

Kittitas Clouds - 6x6 - Oil on Panel - Landscape
A summer storm was building over the hills of Kittitas County near Ellensburg while my husband and I were driving home from a hike. Many of the paintings of late have been from pictures taken the past several months from hikes and trips, it's a symptom of me organizing my stash! I love it, though, because I get to relive all the fun times I've had this year, and makes me think about where the next hike will be! =)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Crumbling Clouds - Oregon Landscape Oil Painting

Crumbling Clouds - 6x6 - Oil on Gessobord
I've been going through the many many landscape photos I snapped while driving along Highway 97 from Tri-Cities, WA, to Bend, OR, in March. Being early spring, the weather was turbulent! There was snow, sun and rain within a span of 15 minutes! I wanted to capture a slightly more calm moment of this trip, watching as a cloud slowly disintegrated into rain over the desert.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cloud Break Over Hell's Canyon - Idaho Landscape Painting

Cloud Break Over Hell's Canyon - 6x6 - Landscape
I have a soft spot for Hell's Canyon, which is why it pops up in my paintings fairly often. I have many many photos of the area from when I helped fight the Poe Cabin Fire there in 2007, and it really is the landscape that made me fall in love with wilderness.

I spent the weekend with family in Boise, ID, so you can look forward to some paintings from the Idaho foothills in the future!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wallowa Fields - Oil Painting near Joseph, OR

Wallowa Fields - 6x6 - Oil on Ampersand Gessobord
Chief Joseph Mountain guards the horizon in this meditative view found on Google Street View. It's getting a bit too late this year to make a trip to that part of the Northwest, just because I'm an utter wimp when it comes to the cold!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teanaway Dusk - Sunset in Eastern Washington Painting

Teanaway Dusk - 5x7
There is something special about the Cle Elum area. I had so much fun tromping around, taking pictures, being amazed by the landscape, basically heaven. What I love about this area is that unlike the arid shrub steppe area I live in (and do love), the Teanaway area is this interesting place where evergreen forests and desert collide in a spectacular way. The weather is fairly warm and dry (for the Pacific NW), but you still get that clean mountain air! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Last Light on Teanaway Ridge

Last Light on Teanaway Ridge - 5x7 - Oil on Ampersand Gessobord
My friends, this month has been a lesson in the power of inertia. I've been working on some larger pieces, and planned on posting a few paintings a week here, but good habits, like posting daily, are much easier to lose than bad ones, like eating one's body weight in ice cream!

But on with the art! I really like the proportions of a 5x7 painting, it's a nice medium width; not too long, not too square. This painting captures the last rays on Teanaway Ridge outside of Cle Elum, Wa. The ridge has a very distinctive shape, providing a great backdrop for the  vast range lands in the Teanaway Valley.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Road to the Wallowas - Eastern Oregon Eagle Cap Painting

Road to the Wallowas - 5x7 - Landscape
Despite not even visiting yet, Joseph, Oregon, is on my short list of places I could see living. It's temptingly located close to the Imnaha River Valley (another spot I'd like to see in person), Hell's Canyon, the Blue Mountains and the Wallowa Mountains! That's a lot of painting material. Seeing as I can't stand the cold, however, summer trips to the area may have to suffice!

This painting was painted from Google Maps Street View, there are some gorgeous mountain views in HD around the Joseph/Enterprise, Oregon, area!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tidal Stream - Puget Sound Landscape painting

This is another Google Maps Street View Tour painting, Pacific Northwest edition. This little tidal canal was on the east side of the Olympic Peninsula. I've never been to the area before, so it was great to be able to "drive" around.

My posting may be a bit spotty, I have a painting that's a little bigger than I'm used to that I'm focusing on completing. I don't want to say what it is, but I'm REALLY excited about it! My small works will probably be 3-4 per week for a while. I'd rather paint fewer small ones than release ones I'm not satisfied with.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Clouds Over the Bay - Washington Coast Painting

Clouds Over the Bay - 6x6 

Oops! Meant to post this little one yesterday. This is the same bay in the photo yesterday, but a bit closer up. I liked the shot because the clouds really gave the sly a lot of depth. The Washington coast has a really amazing variety of clouds!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Grays Bay Grey Day - Coastal Washington Pacific Northwest Painting

Grays Bay Grey Day - Landscape - 6x6
While driving home from Ocean Park, WA, I snapped a couple photos from the four mile long Astoria Bridge spanning the Columbia River. This little painting is the result of one of them! I *think* Grays Bat is just between the foreground land mass and the distant coastal mountains, though if someone from the area has a better idea of the name/place I'd defer to them! It does make for a catchy title at least. =)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Valley Shadows

Valley Shadows
Valleys are tricky. I think my favorite part of this painting is where the low hanging clouds hide behind the closest hill, and the wisps of distant pines are gently poking out, while the cloud gently fades into the air. The reference for this one was again Chinook Pass, it's a beautiful drive even on Google Maps!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Clouds over Chinook Pass

Clouds Over Chinook Pass • Oil on Panel • 6x6

My husband described this painting as "a bit loose," which in his language means a little more abstract than is his preference. But to each their own! I was fascinated while taking my virtual trip over Chinook Pass by the interesting patterns made by the cloud shadows, only letting the sun occasionally peak through. I thought the shapes should take center stage, keeping the whole thing a bit more abstract than my usual work.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chinook Pass View - Washington Landscape painting

Chinook Pass View • Landscape • 6x6


Chinook Pass is one of the beautiful scenic areas that I have yet to visit. If my tour through Google Street View was any indication, though, I'll need to soon! It's simply a stunning area with looming views of Mount Rainier and those one of a kind, misty, clouds that make the Cascades unique.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Storm Over Wallula Gap - Columbia River Landscape Painting

"Storm over Wallula Gap" - Oil on Panel - Landscape
Basalt cliffs are always a problem for me. Which is a terrible, terrible problem to have when you live in an area that has basalt three miles thick! But I snapped the reference photo for this painting while watching a storm blow over Wallula Gap, and fell in love with the way the light hit the cheat grass and basalt covered hills! It was absolutely enchanting, and capturing the light in oil paints was exciting!

Darrington Mystique - North Cascades Painting

Darrington Mystique - 6x6

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This gorgeous view is one I snapped a photo of on our way from Seattle, through the North Cascades National Park, and out to eastern WA. The photo's colors definitely didn't do the blue o f the mountains any justice, so my memory had to help me with some of that! The clouds along our drive only gave the mountains an air of mystery, I wouldn't have had it any other way!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tidal Pool Jigsaw - Ocean Landscape Painting

Tidal Pool Jigsaw - Landscape - 6x6 - Oil on Panel


The most fascinating thing to me about the beach near Ocean Park, WA, is the dancing patterns of tidal pools. Always changing shape, reflecting back the different shades of sand and sky; they're simply mesmerizing!

Like the previous  painting, due to the wind while I painted this en plein air there is sand along the bottom. It's a feature, not a defect! The painting captured the essence of the beach, and took some actual beach along with it for good measure.