Sometimes called the “walking stick” this thorny cactus has yellow buds and gorgeous magenta blossoms. My study is 6″ x 11″ on Arches 140 lb.


Kabocha squash, onion and red bell pepper. 8″ x 12″. A good lesson on stopping sooner. I liked it better without the spatters in the background.


A 5×8″ study / warmup. i enjoy painting onions.

some bits and bobs I worked on today. Did another snapdragon painting, but the light’s not good to photograph it. more tomorrow. Collage of watercolor blossoms

Plein aire snapdragons

Snapdragons in my courtyard garden. I tried some plein aire (or outside) painting of snaps in my courtyard garden. With the wind it was a bit challenging and the paint puddles on the palette dried even quicker than indoors, of course. I was listening to the WNIT college women’s basketball championship game between our GREAT UTEP Women Miners and Rutgers. We held our own, coming behind by at least 14 points, maybe more, and only losing by 2 points because we ran out of time. It was an amazing, nailbiting game, I paced a great deal and painted in between pacing! YD and friend went to the game with the grands, and they had a wonderful, emotional time. Saw history being made right here in El Paso!

Today i had a breakthrough in the studio. Something clicked in my brain regarding making a full puddle of JUICY pigment and learning more of how to control it. I wasn’t using enough pigment and once I did that, and kept in the zone, I had more success.  Not overly happy with the shadow at all, and that’s one of my favorite parts of the initial painting in the book, but I think the rest turned out pretty ok.  more over I had a great time doing it!

veggie still life

painting from Dawn McLeon Heim’s book on step by step realistic painting

I didn’t have the same greens she did, so mine reacted differently and I decided to not use the meticulous drawings that the author has to enlarge and put on the paper. so I’m freehand drawing and using her colors and steps as a guideline. much happier this way. I bought some of my own produce, so I’m off to set up one or two and see how it works flying solo. Wish me luck!

p.s. one thing I’m not happy with is that I can’t get the photograph to reflect the real purple of the eggplant. It has bluish areas on the top but it really IS purple in real life…something I’ll have to research unless one of you knows the answer??


well folks, day 3 and negativity is hard for me. Painting around the shapes and making them appear magically makes my brain hurt! But i do like the tulip shape far upper left.


I spent today’s studio time working on the wet in wet technique on flowers and leaves before starting a vegetable still life from the realistic wc book i was using earlier. After two sheets of mediocre blooms with a couple good scattered in the mess, i set out blocks on a page. So this is quite small 4×5 inches but it was the most successful. Perhaps i could post a painting a day if they were small… Ha. The routine will be good for me.

So i have taken on the challenge of “painting for the bin”and determined to paint every day. I know exactly what I am doing wrong: being impatient, not letting paint dry, not allowing paint colors to mingle, and wanting a painting rather than practice sheets. So i have tweaked my expectations and will paint daily although I am sure I won’t post a new work every day. So I did four versions of this hollyhock and this us the only one slightly ok and of course
it is on 90 lb thin paper! So three for the bin, one to keep.

"The Promise" -- bead embroidered and felted toddler shoe

My bead embroidery sculpture  of my daughters’ toddler shoe won a Judge’s Award at the El Paso Art Association’s Colors of Spring show this past weekend.  It will be on display until March 28th.  Here’s a link from the website so you can see the other winners and pieces there.  It was a nice show and exciting to see paintings and photography represented.  Many thanks to the Damon Crossland Insurance Agencies for their support of art in El Paso and this show in particular.

beaded embroidery shoe sculpture

beaded embroidery shoe sculpture side view

beaded embroidery shoe sculpture

beaded embroidery shoe sculpture side view

beaded embroidery shoe sculpture back

beaded embroidery shoe sculpture back

I started the front panel of this piece right after they outgrew the shoe but just completed it these many years later.  It is amazing how much more time you have when the kids are more self sufficient, the rest of the panels seemed to create themselves.  I had such a good time making it!

The Promise front view

The Promise front view




Embellished Purses

April 2014
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