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

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Saddle Mountain Snow

Saddle Mountain Snow - Oil on Canvas Panel - 6x8

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Despite being seasonally appropriate, this picture is really from last winter after a decently heavy snow blanketed the local desert ridgelines. Sometimes you have to sit with a scene for a while before you know what to do with it!

Monday, December 8, 2014

McNary Marshland

McNary Marshland - 6x8 - Oil on Panel
Lots and lots of grey here in the Columbia Basin recently, but thankfully the wetland areas have some color!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bonneville Mountain Morning

Bonneville Mountain Morning - 6x6 - Oil on Gessobord

A plein air piece done early this summer in Joseph, Oregon. I think this is the third or fourth painting I've done from the exact same spot, but the view from the north end of Lake Wallowa is absolutely irresistible!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blue Day Red Barn

Blue Day Red Barn - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel

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Yeah, I think this barn kick could last a while! There's something really nice about having that little touch of structure in a landscape painting.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sunshine Barn

Sunshine Barn - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel

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I've had the opportunity to explore the eastern Washington countryside finding all sorts of neat little barns and outbuildings. I really loved the cheerful color of the barn, but the star of the day was really those big billowing clouds rolling overhead!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Backlit Bonneville

Backlit Bonneville - 6x8 - Oil on Linen Panel

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This was painted not far from my camping spot outside of Joseph, Oregon along the Wallowa River. The clouds were beautifully rimlit behind a dark mountain, the view made it worth tangling with the giant ants along the river shore!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Blue Mountain Afternoon

Blue Mountain Afternoon - 6x8 - Oil on Linen

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I've had an absolutely fantastic couple of weeks! I've attended the Wallowa Valley Festival in Joseph, Oregon, where I won second place in my category, and the very next weekend I facilitated a paint out in beautiful Walla Walla for Plein Air Washington Artists. This little painting was completed on location in Walla Walla, near Rooks Park on the edge of town where the Blue Mountains peak above rolling wheat fields.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Cottonwood Canyon

Cottonwood Canyon - Oil on linen panel - 5x7

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I love the diagonal lines the little drainages make in the walls of Cottonwood Canyon. This was a little rainy day plein air done in the comfort of my vehicle just outside of Walla Walla, Washington!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Barn Under Pikes Peak

Barn under Pikes Peak - Oil on Linen Panel - 5x7
This little plein air sketch was done from my car to keep me out of the wind and rain. All the nasty weather made for great atmosphere!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Clustered Elms

Clustered Elms - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel

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This grove of elms is just off a highway I travel along regularly; I love passing it at different times and seeing how the light transforms it throughout the day. This particular scene was lit by the hot light of the afternoon!

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Poplars - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel

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I think I let out all my creativity on the painting, and didn't have any left to come up with a clever name! This was a beautiful sunlit stand of poplars out in the country. The trees out in the rural areas have really been catching my eye lately!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Fast and Loose Foothills

Fast and Loose Foothills - 5x7

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Nothing like a strict time limit to bust you out of a seemingly never ending artistic rut! I haven't been inspired to do any small ones lately, and none of my plein air work for the past month has seemed to work. But I saw some clouds out today and though I only had a half hour or so to work I wanted to paint them! When I got the little sketch back home I didn't want to mess with the spontaneous brushwork, I kinda liked it!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Big Bend on the Colorado

Big Bend on the Colorado - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel
Once again I've been reading too much Edward Abbey, which always puts me in the mood to "drive" around the Southwest in Google Maps! I loved the scale of this monolithic peak, with just the slightest hint of the Colorado River poking through the brush.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Winter in Kittitas Valley

Winter in Kittitas Valley - Oil on Linen Panel - 5x7

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A few weeks ago while dropping off paintings for the Clymer Museum's "Northwest Experience" show (where, have I mentioned, I won Best of Show!) I stopped at the viewpoint off Highway 82 overlooking Ellensburg, Washington. The turnout has the most stunning view over the whole Kittitas Valley, and the winter air lent a beautiful atmosphere!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Frost in the Air

Frost in the Air - Oil on Linen - 5x7

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I painted this little one on location back when we still had snow on the ground, now the past few days we've had highs in the 50s and 60s!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Winters Touch

Winters Touch - 5x7 - Oil on Panel
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A little plein air piece, completed at my new favorite car painting site along the Yakima River Delta, where the Yakima River meets the Columbia. I'm a sucker for the red willows in winter already, but I loved to golden cottonwoods and the patterns the snow made.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Valley Wall

Valley Wall - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel

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I was really drawn to the warmth of the distant shadows in this scene! And of course I'm always partial to oceans of sagebrush.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hart Point Shadows

Hart Point Shadows - Oil on Canvas Panel - 6x8

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Doesn't that just warm you up seeing that southwest light? I was out painting en plein air today and the wind chill brought the temperature down to 7 degrees! So this whole virtual southwestern roadtrip is really making me happy. I just keep telling myself it will be wildflower season here soon enough!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sandstone and Sunlight

Sandstone and Sunlight - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel

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I loved the patterns of light and shadow on this rock formation I found on Google Maps Streetview. The more I explore the area virtually the more I want to pack up and move to Moab!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cove of Caves

Cove of Caves - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel

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Another from Arches National Park! Courtesy of Google Maps Streetview, of course.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Shadow of a Monument

Shadow of a Monument - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel

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I wanted to get out on the road this weekend, but a cold took all the wind out of my sails. Instead I decided to go on a virtual road trip through Arches National Park in Utah! I'd definitely like to visit this place in person, because of its beauty and also because it's the primary setting for one of my favorite books, "Desert Solitaire" by Edward Abbey.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Creekside Willows

Creekside Willows - Oil on Linen Panel - 6x8

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Another quiet eastern Oregon scene! One thing I loved about the reflections in the photo I took was the shade of green. It's probably because the water was gross, but aesthetically it complemented the willows nicely. =)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Willow Thicket

Willow Thicket - Oil on Gessobord - 6x6

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The same drainage as the last one, but at a slightly different angle. I think I'm partial to this one, but I can't decide!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Old Oregon Trail II

Old Oregon Trail II - 6x6 - Oil on Gessobord
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Second in this series! The atmosphere was simply entrancing.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Old Oregon Trail I

Old Oregon Trail I - 6x8 - Oil on Canvas Panel
This scene is from a farm area somewhere between Baker City and Ontario, Oregon. My husband and I drove by last winter and there was just something about the red willows against the fog that made the drive beautiful. Some people consider grey days dreary, but I prefer to think of them as serene. Unless it's really cold, then I'll start thinking about running away to Arizona!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January Skies

January Skies - Oil on Linen Panel - 6x8

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It's been a fun experience returning to the same (or nearby) location daily for a painting. The weather here has gotten chilly, grey, and foggy, which leaves me wishing for the sunny days I painted last week!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sauvie Island Inlet

Sauvie Island Inlet - Oil on Linen Panel - 6x8

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I was in Portland for the weekend, so I decided I should see for myself what all the hubbub was about concerning this Sauvie Island I keep hearing about! It's definitely a gorgeous area, I wish I could have spent more time exploring!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Freezing Fog

Freezing Fog - Oil on Linen Panel - 6x8

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I was so spoiled the past few days with warm and sunny weather! We had some freezing fog roll in and the temperature dropped, but it made the scene along the Lower Yakima River very interesting! I love the way fog simplifies all the shapes.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Grey Skies Over Fossil Beds

Grey Skies Over Fossil Beds - 6x8 - Oil on Linen Panel
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Yikes! Long day, I'm so glad I had this little study from my visit to Fossil, Oregon, ready to go! I hope later this year I can stay longer in the area, these rock formations are amazing.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter Wetland

Winter Wetland - Oil on Canvas Panel - 6x8
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I loved seeing Rattlesnake Mountain out behind the Yakima Delta wetlands. The skies were a little hazy near the horizon, but the sky was still blue and the sun was out. No complaints here!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Yakima Delta - Day 14, 30 in 30 Challenge

Yakima Delta - Oil on Canvas Panel - 6x8
Click Here to BidThe crisp winter air seemed to make the water bluer today!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Northwest Clouds - Day 13, 30 in 30 Challenge

Northwest Clouds - 6x6 - Oil on Gessobord
Click to Bid!I was looking back in my reference photo file and found some fantastic clouds!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Last Light on Rattlesnake - Day 12, 30 in 30 Challenge

Last Light on Rattlesnake - 6x8 - Oil on Canvas Panel
Click Here to BidI'm told it's not cheating to paint ahead, this was my second one from yesterday's plein air session!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dusk in the Delta, Day 11 - 30 in 30

Dusk in the Delta - 6x8 - Oil on Canvas Panel
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I was lucky enough to get out and do some plein air work today! I even felt adventurous enough to do them closer to sunset than I normally work. Usually this time of day is an exercise in frustration, because the light is only consistent for about 15 minutes, so I put down the very basic color notes and composition, and filled out the details back at home.

I stayed in the jeep while working on this, because the wind was at a sustained 35mph, with gusts of 50!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Juniper Stand - Day 9, 30 in 30

Juniper Stand - Oil on Gessobord - 6x6
Click Here to BidFound another great bunch of Junipers outside of Bend on Google Streetview!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Oregon Juniper - Day 8, 30 in 30

Oregon Juniper - 6x6 - Oil on Gessobord
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Well, with the mandarins gone I needed to move on to a new subject. I was listening (for probably the 5th time) to my audiobook version of Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey and was struck by the passage about wanting to study a single juniper tree for a lifetime. It made me remember driving through the sage and juniper filled area east of Bend, Oregon.

So I "drove" around on Highway 26 on Google Maps Streetview, and found not only some amazing juniper stands but some outstanding clouds too!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Last Good Mandarin - Day Seven, 30 in 30

The Last Good Mandarin - Oil on linen panel - 5x7
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All good things must come to an end, and so to must good fruit. In hindsight, the fridge probably would have been a better storage place than my studio to enhance the longevity of these beautiful mandarins. The things are growing wrinkly and the leaves brittle faster than I can eat them! If I were more sensible I would have painted a couple of them the day I got them, but I'm not that good at planning ahead!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mandarin Shadows - Day Six 30 in 30

Mandarin Shadows - 5x7 - Oil on Linen Panel

Ever had a really bad painting day? I mean REALLY bad. I tried to paint TWO different landscapes from photos I've had in my file for a while; I should have known better. I think I just saw them as making good paintings, and ignored that nothing was really speaking to me. I've been in a more analytic mode lately, due to rewriting my artist statement and resume and trying to map out long and short term goals. I blame all this typing and planning for getting me out of a more visual mode. At least that's my excuse today. =)

After two failed paintings I needed something simple but beautiful. The mandarin with a leaf fit the ticket! Although at one point the leaf looked great but I had to wipe off and repaint the mandarin itself! BUT I'm so happy I was able to pull through and finish something, I think if I had let myself give up I wouldn't be happy with myself. =)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Buoyancy - Day 5, 30 in 30 Challenge

Buoyancy - 4x8 - Oil on Panel
Click to BidI took the reference photo for this during the summer from the top of a local ridgeline, nothing beats a wide open sky!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Mandarin with Leaves - 30 in 30, Day 4

Mandarin with Leaves - Oil on Gessobord - 6x6
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I saw this big bag of mandarins with leaves still on them at the grocery store. Now those of you who live in areas that grow citrus fruit probably don't think twice about it, but I realized that for me, citrus just materialize in the fruit isle, I'd never thought about one growing on a tree! So I had to buy them, of course. And the leaves had such an interesting shape they were perfect for painting!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Surrounded by Orange

Surrounded by Orange - 6x6 - Oil on gessobord
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I think the hardest part of the 30 in 30 challenge might turn out to be coming up with titles for all the paintings!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Little Sketchy

A Little Sketchy - 6x6 - Oil on Gessobord
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A little out of my wheelhouse, but hopefully still life painting can keep me entertained until it warms up a little bit! I like the sketchy brushwork, to me it feels energetic.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Palisade Study

Palisade Study - 6x8 - Oil on Linen Panel
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**Please note, I didn't sign this one while on location, a signature has been added in the lower right corner since this photo was taken**

I had the most fantastic New Years Eve and Day! My husband was working in Condon, Oregon, and I decided to tag along and paint the scenery. That's right, this desert scene is from the Pacific Northwest, believe it or not! These palisades are part of a huge National Monument called the John Day Fossil Beds, in the remote Clarno Unit. They are the remains of ancient mud flows, called lahars, and are chock full of fossils! But more importantly to this plein air painter, they are stunning and have a decent restroom nearby!

Work in progress on the trail