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

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chrysanthemum on Blue

Chrysanthemum on Blue - Oil on Gessobord - 6x6
Click to BidThere is something irresistible about these flowers, I think it's how complex they are and the challenge they pose in simplifying them!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Across Bow Valley

Across Bow Valley - 6x8 - Oil on Linen Panel
Click Here to BidOK, I'm really falling for Canada here. Between the endless mountain peaks and free healthcare, there could definitely be worse places to be an artist! I think I would miss the smell of sagebrush in the spring, though. =)

This is the view from Whitehorn Mountain off of Highway 1/93, the Trans-Canada Highway. On Google Streetview there's HD imagery all the way up the snow covered ski runs, giving stunning views across the Bow River Valley and into a sea of mountain.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fork in the Bow

Fork in the Bow - 6x8 - Oil on Linen Panel
Click Here to BidI'm not really sure why the title entertains me as much as it does. This is a fork in the Bow River of Canada, I guess having two tool names is amusing? Or maybe because the two words, bow and fork, indicate very different paths for a river? It makes me happy to say out loud, and that's all the justification I need!

Of course, I do need to be careful with things that entertain me without my being able to put a finger on why. My somewhat sheltered upbringing lends itself to unintentional innuendo. =)

Across Minnewanka

Across Minnewanka - 6x8 - Oil on Linen Panel
Click Here to BidI hate to admit this, but my file of reference photos seemed to stop speaking to me the past couple weeks. It happens, I guess! But I so badly felt like I *should* paint something from them that I kept trying. Nope! If there's no spark, there's no painting, or at least not one worth keeping!

So I went back to my old trusty block-breaking go-to: Google Maps. I finally came across this stunning scene on Lake Minnewanka (and how can you NOT want to paint a spot with that name?) near Banff, Canada. Now there's somewhere I need to visit someday!

I think after I paint enough pine trees my inner desert rat will come out again!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wallowa Highway

Wallowa Highway - 6x8 - Oil on Canvas Panel
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I was flipping through some photos I took while driving to Joseph, Oregon (a completely safe maneuver I'm pretty sure) and I loved the way the snow capped peaks seemed to melt into the clouds. It's funny how an unassuming photo that didn't seem impressive at the time can become your inspiration later!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October Groceries

October Groceries - Oil on Gessobord - 6x6
I felt magnetically drawn to the chinese lanterns in the grocery store! Maybe it's been a while since I'd been in this particular store, but it seemed like fall suddenly took over with pomegranates, chinese lanterns and pears. I don't even like pears, but I loved their color and wanted to paint them!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunshine by the Creek

Sunshine by the Creek - 6x8 - Oil on Canvas Board
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When in doubt, paint the Wallowa Valley. Whenever I have a hard time finding something that speaks to me I usually flip through my photos of the Joseph, Oregon, area and almost always come across some little scene just begging to be painted!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Saddle Mountain Vista

Saddle Mountain Vista - 6x8 - Oil on Canvas Panel
This is the stunning view from halfway up to the summit of Wahatis Peak, painted yesterday! Someday I'd love to take my jeep up to the actual peak, because I can only go up so high before the potholes become big enough to swallow my little car whole. But it's worth it to get up as high as possible, because the whole Columbia Basin stretches out in front of you!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wahatis Peak, End of Day

Wahatis Peak, End of Day - 6x8 - Oil on Panel
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Just outside of the frame was the setting sun, but I loved these clouds radiating from Wahatis Peak, a part of the Saddle Mountains north of the Tri-Cities.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Summer's Clouds

Summer's Clouds - 6x6 - Oil on Gessobord
Click to BidThe summer skies are typically pretty boring here in my little desert, except for when a massive summer storm rolls through. last week we had two big lightening storms only a couple days apart! Now, of course, we're back to the monotonous heat August should have taken with it.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Windswept Farmland

Windswept Farmland - 6x6 - Oil on Gessobord
Click to BidI saw this scene many weeks ago while driving on the Umatilla Indian Reservation just east of Pendleton, Oregon. At this slight hillside you could see for what seemed like forever as the farmlands rolled on and on! But what I really loved were the big billowing clouds rolling overhead in the wind.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Red Willows

Red Willows - 6x6 - Oil on Panel
Click to BidI've been playing with a new brush here, it's the Rosemary Mongoose Round size 8, and it creates the most lovely lines! I haven't decided how I feel about all the lines in my big masses, but it does give a unique sense of energy I think.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Nevada Skies

Nevada Skies - 5x7 - Oil on Gessobord
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Wow! I can't believe I had another landscape painting in me! I've been painting in the Columbia River Gorge for the 9th annual Pacific Northwest Plein Air show. I guess I wanted to get back into my usual desert territory! This is a Google Streetview scene from a Nevada highway just south of the Oregon border. I loved the shapes and movement in the clouds!

Here's a shot of me (on right) enjoying the show along with the fabulous Diana Moses Botkin, followed by some of my work from the paint out. They're available for purchase through the Columbia Center for the Arts.

East Face Shadows - Sold

Rowena Sunrise


Monday, August 12, 2013

High Desert Clouds

High Desert Clouds - 6x6 - Oil on Panel

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I wish I could remember where this scene was from! I painted it from a screenshot I took while on a Google Maps Streetview road trip through south eastern Oregon's high desert, I believe somewhere near the Alvord Desert. Now THERE is somewhere I need to visit and paint in person!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Flower 3 - Yellow Rose on Blue

Flower 3 - 6x6 - Oil on Panel
Click Here to BidI was playing with different set ups for a still life and the pale yellow rose against an almost teal blue backdrop really caught my eye!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cottonwood Road

Cottonwood Road - 5x7 - Oil on Canvas Panel

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I think it's a federal law that EVERY town must have a Cottonwood Road. This particular Cottonwood Road is on the outskirts of Walla Walla, Washington. While driving along the road you pass vineyards and wheat fields and half a dozen farmers all waving and smiling. It's a fantastic drive!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Flower 2

Flower 2 - Oil on Panel - 6x6

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More chrysanthemums! I loved the dramatic look of the creamy flower against the purple, I thought it was very striking! I think the best part about painting flowers is I can use the same observational skills that are stretched when painting en plein air, but I can be in the air conditioning when the temperatures are almost 100 degrees. I'm interested in seeing how painting more of these florals will impact the way I approach landscapes when I get back into them!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Flower 1

Flower 1 - Oil on Panel - 6x6

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What! I wanted to get myself something special, so I got a little bunch of chrysanthemums. They looked so beautiful I just had to paint one, but man did I not realize how big a bite I was taking out trying to paint a complex flower in a glass vase. It was very enjoyable despite (maybe because of?) the challenge!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summers Veil - Plein Air

Summers Veil - 6x6 - Oil on Panel

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It's that time of year again, distant wildfires are sending their smoke up our way to create a really interesting haze toward the end of the day. Aside from the adrenaline and hazard pay I think the thing I miss most about fighting wildfires is the astounding sunsets they always bring. The best I can do now is enjoy the unique lighting and the memories the smell brings back!

This was painted en plein air along the Columbia River, looking to the west to Rattlesnake Mountain.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Glass Butte Juniper

Glass Butte Juniper - 6x6 - Oil on Gessobord
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A sunny day with the most perfect puffy clouds overhead! The reference photo for this work was taken from a peak on Glass Butte just east of Bend, Oregon, while collecting some really beautiful Mahogany Obsidian chunks. Don't trust those innocent puffy clouds, though, within a half hour they brought in a quick snow flurry! Needless to say, the springs in the Inland Northwest can be a bit unpredictable.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Kittitas Sage

Kittitas Sage - 5x7 - Oil on Canvas Panel
A warm and sunny day in the Kittitas Valley! There's something about fields of sage and distant hills that get me every time.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Rattlesnake Hills

Rattlesnake Hills - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel
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The past week has been insanely hot, so I took that as a great excuse to go through my many photos taken on road trips. This field of sagebrush in the late afternoon light grabbed me, I loved the blue shadows on the hillside!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Quiet Hills

Quiet Hills - 6x6 - Oil on Gessobord
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I found a little peace and quiet on a virtual drive through eastern Oregon! Thanks, Google.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

John Day River Valley

John Day River Valley - Oil on Linen Panel - 5x7
Click Here to BidFor a couple months per year this little area near the John Day River in Eastern Oregon will be green. Soon the grasses will dry out and create the usual summer wildfire threat, but I saw this scene while it was still full of life!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Russian Olive on the Walla Walla

Russian Olive on the Walla Walla - 5x7 - Oil on Gessobord
Click to BidRussian Olive! A beautiful tree when trimmed properly, with gorgeous purple-black bark contrasting against silver sage green leaves. Here in Washington and much of the West it's considered a noxious weed. In Europe where it is a common ornamental tree it rarely produces fruit, but here within three years it bursts with little olive like fruits that birds scatter for miles. They thrive in the poorest soil and quickly take over river and creek shores, pushing out cottonwoods and other native riparian vegetation. But! Despite their noxious status they can be quite beautiful, and this grove caught my eye while I was driving along Highway 12 near Walla Walla.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pikes Peak Under Blue Skies

Pikes Peak Under Blue Skies - 5x7 - Oil on Gessobord
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Pikes Peak is a somewhat prominent point in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, near Walla Walla, Washington. Being at a higher elevation than my hometown, the area stays greener longer than the ridges around Tri-Cities. In late morning light, the distant blue trees really set off the green ground cover; for a second I could enjoy the collision of pastoral fields and wild hillside while forgetting the awful suburban sprawl slowly making it's way to the mountains.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Under the Weather

Under the Weather - 5x7 - Oil on Gessobord

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One of my favorite things to paint is that lovely soft distant rain as it passes over our little desert. This scene obviously isn't from a particularly deserty area, it's actually part of the long stretch of farmland running along the Walla Walla River along Highway 12. I'll have several paintings from this area this week, as the different shapes the trees clumps along the water made really struck me!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Yakima Summer

Yakima Summer - Oil on Panel - 6x6
Click Here to BidIt's heating up here in the northwest! I wanted to capture the feel of the sun on your skin that lets you know summer is right around the corner!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Drive Through

Drive Through - 6x6 - Oil on Panel
Click To BidI've been playing lately with color combinations I'm not used to, trying to push the colors a bit more. I think I like the result! I drove through this storm the other day, I just love the way distant rain falls,

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dayton Hillside

Dayton Hillside - 6x6 - Oil on Gessobord
Click Here to BidThese clouds were the last remnants of a rainstorm near Dayton, Washington. It was a beautiful day!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Simcoe Hills

Simcoe Hills - 6x6 - Oil on Panel
Click Here to BidWhile using Google Street View I was cruising down Highway 97 south here in Washington. Something about the pattern of trees and clouds really grabbed me!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Baldy Summit

Baldy Summit - Oil on Panel - 6x6
Click Here to BidWe may not have high snow covered peaks like those found in the Cascades, but this simple scene in the Yakima Hills really caught my eye. It was leaning toward evening, and the light had taken on a warm cast. This type of lighting seems to be a huge challenge for me, so I'm very pleased with how the thing turned out! Baldy Summit is the highest point in Umptanum Ridge, this is a view of it from the north east.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Clouds Over the Hay

Clouds Over the Hay - 6x6 - Oil on Panel
Click to BidWe've been getting some variable spring weather the past few days: wind, rain, sun, you name it! So the clouds have been fantastic. The hay had just been cut and was in long rows, creating a view I really wanted to paint!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wallowa Stream

Wallowa Stream - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel

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This was painted during a Google Street View tour of Joseph, Oregon, one of my favorite places to "visit." I'm really excited that next weekend I'll be featured in the Wallowa Valley Festival of the Arts, which gives me a great reason to visit the area in person! I can't wait to get out and see the area, hopefully I'll be able to do some plein air work during the weekend. In the mean time, this stream really caught my eye during my virtual tour, I'll have to find and paint it next week!

Here is some of the work you'll be able to see in person at the show:

Summer Dream

Prineville Summer

Saddle Mountain View

Monday, May 20, 2013


Simplicity - Oil on Linen Panel - 5x7

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I can't quite remember where in Oregon I came across this scene, I believe it was somewhere near the Klamath Mountains. But wherever it may have been, I loved the quiet, peaceful simplicity.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Vineyard City View I

Vineyard City View I - Oil on Linen Board - 5x7
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I had a great time this weekend seeing local artists at the Vineyard City Festival of Art in Benton City, Washington! The wind picked up and was blowing big puffy clouds above the Horse Heaven Hills, casting beautiful shadows.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Coulee Wall, Summer

Coulee Wall, Summer - 6x6 - Oil on Panel

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One of the unique characteristics of the geology of my area is the many coulees. Depending on where you are in America the word can describe a few different landforms, but here in eastern Washington they refer to the wide, now dry, channels cut deep into the basalt bedrock by huge ice age floods. The high cliffs of basalt create really wonderful shadow patterns, so this was a fun challenge to paint.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Oregon Spring

Oregon Spring - Oil on Linen Panel - 5x7
Click Here to BidA quick virtual drive through far eastern Oregon brought me to this view, I hope someday I can visit it in person! I love the challenge of creating harmony and just a little bit of order in what seems at first to be endless jumble of sagebrush!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Clouds Over Rattlesnake

Clouds Over Rattlesnake - Oil on Carton Paper - 6x8

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This plein air sketch was done while I spent the afternoon watching clouds tumble past Rattlesnake Mountain, blown hard by the wind! I experimented with Guerrilla Painter's Carton paper, which turned out to be a really great surface! Very lightweight, and I like the even matte finish the paint takes on it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Move Along

Move Along - Oil on Panel - 6x6
Click Here to BidThe name of this cloud painting comes from the fact that I couldn't keep up painting these clouds! I would get a sketch down and BAM! The clouds were long gone. I think that challenge is one of the alluring things about plein air painting, nature never makes it easy!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Moves in - Daily Painting

Spring Moves In - Oil on Linen Panel - 5x7

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I've been working a lot lately on back lit clouds. It's such a challenge to capture them, but it really captures the late afternoon skies we've been having!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rain Passes By

Rain Passes By - Oil on Canvas Panel- 5x5

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This was an exercise in capturing some of the tumultuous weather we've been experiencing recently! This little burst of rain was so interesting as it passed by the Rattlesnake Hills north of Richland! I've been so used to working on smooth gessoed panels and linen boards recently that it was a bit of a surprise just how much the texture of the canvas shows through!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wallowa Side Road

Wallowa Side Road - Oil on Canvas Panel - 4"x5"
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A quiet scene from the Wallowa Valley found on Google Maps. I only wish the street view extended to this little side road, it looked like it could be quite an adventure!