Monday, August 29, 2011

Jack Again, and another Upside Hound

Grar! (Jack and His Toy), 11 x 8", mixed pencils on paper

Brindle Belly Up, 8 x 11", mixed pencils on paper.
These are both commissions, drawn today while sitting in a Barnes & Noble café for a lot longer than I meant to be there.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dr. Sketchy's Minneapolis!

This is Frenchie Kiss. She's what you missed if you didn't go to Dr. Sketchy's today.

Sweet Frenchie Kiss, mixed media on Stonehenge paper, 11 x 8".

Saucy Frenchie, mixed media on fawn Stonehenge paper, 6.5 x 11"
My friend Tom Winterstein of Old Town Artists went along with me and we had so much fun. I got a Strongbow cider and a bratwurst with kraut, relaxed into the drawing process, and won Frenchie's Favorite with the sketch at top. What a great day.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ghost Tree at Bruce Vento Park

Ghost Tree, about 10.5 x 8", mixed pencils on paper
If you've been thinking of taking lessons with me, be aware that it won't always, necessarily, mean being in the studio. Today was too beautiful for that, so I took my student out to Bruce Vento Park (a short hop from the studio building) to try out landscape drawing for the first time.

He had fun and so did I, and this piece, which began as a quick demo, turned into something I really like.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Crows who Rule the Town

The Landlords, found wood and metal, oil paint, wax medium. 24" x 18". Click to enlarge.
They'll chase you, if you trespass where they think you shouldn't be -- zigzagging above your head, from one tree to the next, reading you the riot act all the way. It's enough to make you wonder who really owns the place, and what lease you signed while you were dreaming, that you then woke and didn't recall.

I like crows a lot.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lost Sleep and Found Objects

A preview of the smallest of the new things I made for the FUSION Showcase tonight.

Balcony, 12" h x 3.5" w. Oil paint and wax medium on found wood and metal
This piece of wood was behind Saigon Restaurant on University Ave., near the dumpster. I found it about a week ago while heading into the restaurant with a friend.

The owls are a rusted hinge I'd picked up in Tennessee, along the highway where my truck broke down. I confess I don't recall where I got the broken finial-piece that forms the balcony, except that I was in Minnesota by then and I didn't think I'd ever use the thing but, being me, I kept it a while to find out.

I've been making a lot of art and doing a lot of prep work lately and not getting much sleep. That's one of those deals you sign on for because you can't refuse -- difficult but you want to do it because showing your work is a Good Thing.

Last night I was working on a larger piece -- one of two; the first is gloriously finished, the other, not -- and I'd meant for the hinge to be part of that, as something suggesting a window shutter. But I kept seeing two creatures side by side, curious little eyes looking back at me, and I wanted to do something more whimsical with them. This is the result. I'll have it available tonight at the Fine Line event for $65. 

Monday, August 22, 2011


All locals. All good.

Be sure to choose my name from the "Support Your Artist" drop-down menu on the page -- and I will take $10 off the next piece of art you purchase from me -- no matter how large or small. And yes, that means if you bring a friend and buy two tickets I'll double your discount, too.

Sunny Sunday in the Studio

Yesterday I worked pretty much all day, partly on the pup above, whose color -- difficult to see until I put a coat of retouch (workable) varnish on it -- turned out to be more blue than it should have been. The photo above is after I used a transparent iron oxide glaze to warm up his fur considerably.

The pieces above are a commission, and are lying flat while their bottom edges fully dry. This is taking longer than normal for some reason. Ah, the vagaries of oil paint.

My wonderful sunny corner at Old Town Artists. I've just shifted studio space because the person who was in this slot left the group (no drama, just due to other things going on in her life).  Yesterday I spent several hours sorting, moving, and organizing things. Good spaces are important for creativity. I really, really enjoy this one.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sneak Preview Salvage Art -- Crows and their City

Design stages of two new Rescued Materials pieces. Both around 24" high.

This is the part that's like playing with Legos, for me. Putting things together to figure out how they fit. The construction and the additions of paint and other elements comes next.

 These will be part of my display on Thursday night, 8/25, at the Fine Line Music Cafe. Come out and see the transformation from design to completion; catch some great local music and a fashion show from Twin Cities designers.

Tickets are just $10. Be sure to pick my name from the "Support your artist" drop-down menu. It helps RAW:artists keep doing these great events.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bright Brush 2.0

Bright Brush study. Oil on canvas board, 6 x 4", $49.
I like the somewhat rough, atmospheric look of this one. I did it while taking little breaks from a much larger landscape commission I'm finishing this week.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

They Eat Horses, Don't They?

Charcoal, carbon pencil, and pastel on newsprint, about 13" x 10".

The thing art does for me (one thing it does) is cause me to play like a little kid. In that spirit I have been stacking stuff on top of other stuff. This is one result.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Getting East Side Reviewed

With many thanks to Corey Streeter, who came out with his camera, took photos and chatted with me while I began work on a portrait of a very cute Sheltie named Milton.

East Side Review News article is here. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bright Brush with Twine

Bright Brush with Twine, charcoal and pastel on newsprint, about 14 x 10"
This is the result of my promise to my students that, while we would of necessity be doing still life setups for drawing class, this would not mean "wine bottles and fruit."

Mark Balma at his Demo

Mark Balma at Minnetonka Center for the Arts on 8/3. I was taking notes, really I was. But the curves of his hat that caught my eye, so I used Mark for drawing practice. Hope he didn't mind.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rabbit on 27th Avenue

27th Ave. Cottontail, 5.5 x 3.5" pen and watercolor. Click to enlarge.
Educational thing for today: photograph, above, versus scanned image, below. Neither is accurate. The highlights on the photo are too blue while the colors are entirely wrong on the scanned version.

Ah, the difficulties of photographing art.

I made this as a thank you for someone who'd helped me a lot recently, so the original is now in the mail (it was a small blank note card made of cotton rag paper, purchased at Wet Paint). I like the design well enough that if I can get the photos to look right, I'll include it in the note card line I'm developing.

Below, the original sketch -- much larger, about 7 x 10" -- from yesterday evening. I drew the rabbit from life as it foraged in a neighbor's yard.

I love this drawing but wonder if it will ever sell. Minnesotans are not, in general, big fans of rabbits, seeing them mostly as tiny furry engines of destruction. I can't blame them, but I'm still charmed. Guess I'm just a sucker that way.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Music, Fashion, and (my!) Art at Fine Line Music Café

Clicky clicky on the header for full information!
I will be featured at the Fine Line Music Café on Aug. 25th, in the FUSION Showcase with RAW:natural born artists. Come see my Rescued Materials series of art ... and the slinky little black dress I bought for the event. ;-)

The Fine Line is a great venue, and tickets for the evening of music, art, and fashion are just $10. If you follow my link to purchase, be sure to select my name from the "Support your artist" drop-down menu on the upper right.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jack in His Favorite Chair

This was today, at Jim Sannerud's woodworking shop at ACVR Warehouse. Jack is the Official Woodshop Dog.

Jack's Favorite Chair, 10 x 7.5", carbon pencil and pastel pencil on paper
Drawing animals from life is challenging, because they do move. What I've learned is that they will often keep returning to the same few basic positions, so if I'm patient I can generally get what I want.

In this case, I simply had to capture those white paws hooked over the seat cushion. Fortunately, his feet were the things Jack moved the least; it was the head that kept shifting around.

More Sunday Paws on Grand Dogs

For those who missed my earlier post about Paws On Grand, the rest of the story is here. These drawings took ... well, I'm not sure how long, since I didn't have a timer, but not very long. I had about 10 minutes at most.

I recall that the Great Dane's name is Isis, and that she's a big lovable puppy who adores everyone. The little guy below, sadly, is one whose name I forget. Too many dogs, too little time! He was a great little model, though, I remember that. Alert, quiet, and very sweet.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monday Mill District Moonrise

Mill District Moonrise, 6 x 4" oil on canvas board

Painted on site; photographed on the bumper of my truck.

This whole mill area (along Hiawatha) thrills me. I love it not just because the buildings are old but because they are still very much in use. I'm attracted to the dusty, noisy energy -- rumbling machinery, train cars, alarms going off, buzzers.

Safe to say I'll be back. Going to need a larger canvas next time, though.

Monday, August 8, 2011

StarTribune Snapshot

Yesterday's StarTribune article, written by Lynn Underwood. Click image to enlarge.
Posting this because the online version lacks photos and I have heard from a few people who missed yesterday's paper -- or who live in other parts of the country. This is a snapshot; the article was far too large to fit on my little scanner.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday passes at 35 Dogs Per Hour

I got featured in the StarTribune today -- the online article is the Q&A only, while the one in the paper is full of beautiful color photos -- but the fun didn't stop there.

Above and below, two favorites from the sketches I did this afternoon at Wet Paint Art Supply on Grand Ave. This was part of the annual Paws On Grand event.

There were six of us artists who donated our time and skills -- and all together we drew over 100 dogs in 3 hours. While the drawings were free, we were taking donations for Pet Project, an organization devoted to helping those who've fallen on hard times to keep and care for their animals rather than having to give them up. I don't know yet how much we raised. I do know how much I enjoyed being part of it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I am Bound for Broadway, Baby!

The past few weeks I've had some fantastic media exposure, beginning with this article at:

Click the header to go to my article at!
Next up, on Sunday, August 7th, look for me in the HOME section of the Minneapolis StarTribune! I was interviewed by the delightful Lynn Underwood for a feature on the ways artists can solve design problems for homeowners. I'll post the link when it's up.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I have waited 12 years for this!

Appaloosa Foal, about 44" high (life size), for a girl's room in Mahtomedi.

Seriously. I was That Girl Who Drew Horses, back in high school. When I began painting murals, I thought that naturally I would get to paint horses on walls from time to time. That was a dozen years ago; this was today. While I have had two jobs in which horses were incidental to the picture, this is the first time in all these years that someone has asked me to simply paint a horse.

I was thrilled. And I have had a lovely day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What I Did In School Today

I do not, as a rule, paint portraits. All the same, when I had a chance to take a one-day portrait painting workshop with Mark Balma, I jumped.

Morning was Mark's demonstration, and then after lunch we had a model and three hours in which to work. This was what I did, and I'm very pleased with it. Perfect? Nope. But nice enough for me to want to continue.

One of the things I love about living here is that it's so easy to go be a student, when I'm not teaching classes myself. I have access to some outstanding artists and that's worth so much.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Blog -- a re-post because I love this series.

"Hideout (second version)", not mine! This is by Jennifer Lowery, who is my friend and whose paintings of charming little characters keep making me grin. Full post here:

the blog: a do over, and an opportunity to geek out a little...: "hideout 2.0 ,oil on canvas, 12x12 It took awhile to get around to posting this one. I wasn't quite happy with the first version of t..."

Paws On Grand: Get a sketch of your dog at Wet Paint this Sunday!

Okay, your sketch won't look like Pumpkin, here, but I got your attention, right?

Your sketch will probably look a little more like this, IF your dog holds still as well as Hazel, here, did. I'll only have 10 minutes max per dog, so these will be fast and loose. 

I will be one of several artists creating on-the-spot dog portrait sketches at Wet Paint on Sunday, Aug. 7, from noon until 3 pm. This yearly sketching event is part of the joy that is Paws On Grand.

Bring your dog (or cat, or lizard, or bird -- I'm not picky), take a number, and one of us will create a drawing for you to take home. While the sketches are free, we will be accepting donations for various animal charities in the Twin Cities.

Tiny Periwinkle, Begonia, and Sailboat

All from the last week, all 5.5 x 3.5", in my Tiny Moleskine Sketchbook. The Periwinkle is in my grandma's back yard in Florida.

Red Begonia in Orono. Drawn while awaiting the arrival of someone who got Mapquested. That is -- she used Mapquest and it did to her what it has more than once done to me. Having my sketch book means I get to be happy and creative rather than impatient, and I love that about it.

Distant Little Sailboat, Hudson. It is possible, I suppose, that it's bad manners to sit outdoors at a restaurant and spread one's watercolor kit on the table to sketch, but I don't regret it, and our server was kind of intrigued to watch what was happening. Also I tip well, so I'm sure that helps.