Sunday, December 30, 2012

Progress Photos of a Commissioned Painting

For the first time, I'm showing the progress of a painting I'm doing to others.  I usually don't allow anyone at all even to enter my studio, much less see a painting in progress.  But I think it's finally time to get over my silly fear - after all, we're all going to start afresh starting day-after-tomorrow, January 1.  I'm just getting a bit of a head start on it.   These photos are listed from earliest at the top to the latest at the bottom.  I haven't finished the painting yet, so there will be another small group to follow in the next few days.  (It may be a few because I have a cold coming on.)  The earliest few photos were shot every 1/2 hour (I failed to record the drawing process; it will come the next time I try this progress-project), and then I started shooting every 15 minutes.  I found that I worked a bit more diligently and with greater purpose if I got an update every 15 minutes.  Here goes:

This is Mr. Jake, and I think he's quite handsome.  Again, he'll be finished in just a few more 15-minute segments, but it might be a few days before I can get back to him.  I'm going down fast - ugh!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

English Springer Spaniel Portrait

This is Sarah Lucille's portrait.  She's a recent commissioned painting.  It was such a pleasure to paint her portrait, and I thought it would be a big challenge, too, as the painting for me was quite large,   24x36".  But, quite to the contrary, I grabbed my biggest brushes and dived into the painting with gusto and enthusiasm.  As it turned out, this painting was one of those which I swear just painted itself and I just hung onto the brushes and went along for the fun, wild ride!  I'm very happy with the results, and I feel the clients were as well.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I am Alive

Just a quick note to all those who follow me:  I am alive and working really hard.  I do have quite a large number of painting pics to post but am just too busy to do so until after the end of the year.  Hope you all are enjoying this holiday season.  I'm still looking forward to some down time, but it's not going to happen until nearly the end of the year when things finally slow down for me.  But painting is going well (yay!!!!!!), I'm getting a lot, lot more time into painting now that I have my new studio -- with no interruptions - it's a law!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It was a Quiet Day at Lake Wo--- No, Oops, I meant at Portland Saturday Market

A couple of views at Portland Saturday Market yesterday, November 3, 2012.  At the top are a few customers checking out the food court a little before the lunchtime crowd hit.  And below that are two hard-working PSM artists removing a few of the beautiful autumn leaves from the aisles.  I think they were too pretty to remove, but they enjoyed sweeping them nevertheless.  It was a quiet day, so we artists/vendors got to visit with each other a bit, something we often don't get to do.  It was a very pleasant day, despite not a whole lot of people roaming the aisles.  Those who were there were intent on finding just the right gift or treat for themselves, though.  It's a nice, kind of slow time to come down if you don't necessarily like the hustle and bustle that go on most of the year down there.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Painter\'s Keys - A community for artistsI've mentioned this link many, many times in my blog and elsewhere, and I can't say enough good about it.  It's a twice-weekly newsletter I receive, and it's all about art, creating art, viewing art, discussing art, sometimes discussing life.  Participants can upload their own artwork, make comments on their own or on another's artwork, discuss every aspect of creating art.  If you're at all interested in learning about how painters think, what individual artist's work looks like, how to be creative, how to organize your self-employed workday, etc., I highly recommend you start reading these posts.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Cute Pig Painting I Finished Recently

At the request of a customer, I painted this sweet-looking pig.  The acrylic painting is 11x14" on wood panel.  Several people recently have asked me what the wood paneling looks like from the side, so I shot this pic of it as the painting sat on my easel.  It frames very nicely, doesn't weigh much, and fits into a mat and/or frame just as a painting on paper would.  I like the smooth hard surface for painting as paint flows very nicely on it.  And since I'm such a stickler for detail, it allows me to get into much greater detail on these relatively small paintings that I like to do than I can do on canvas.

Sorry, the original painting has been sold.

A Great Trick to Stay on Task that I Learned Recently

For me, keeping myself working (painting) in my studio (but not working to the point of exhaustion, getting slap-happy,  fooling around, being distracted, finding other things to do, etc.) has always been a difficult matter.  It helped me tremendously when I recently created my studio and work only in it now instead of being inside the house - with all the distractions inherent in working where I live.  But I often found myself working/painting to a point that I wasn't staying focused on the "job" at hand.  Or I would get anxious about a particularly challenging spot in a painting and end up messing things up either in that area or elsewhere.  When I get really anxious about either an area I'm working on or an upcoming next level in the painting, I start to make a lot of stupid moves and often end up with a mess, which I then have to spend a much longer time correcting than if I had stayed focused the entire time.

Well, recently I read a post on Robert Genn's newsletter about using a timer to work in specific 25-minute time blocks on a painting, taking a short break, and then returning for another 25 minutes.  Everyone who commented on his post agreed that there was something perfect about the 25 minutes:  not too short, not too long.  I've always had a timer going when I worked, but I was erratic in the amount of time I set it for, and it ended up not working very well for me.  Plus, at that time, I was also in my house working, which as I've said before, just doesn't promote good work habits.

Well, now, thanks to my trusty timer on my smartphone, I set the timer for 25 minutes, work really efficiently for those 25 minutes, take a five to ten-minute break and do something like a bit of exercise, just move around a bit, go outside and take in some fresh air, have a drink of water, anything but paint.  Then I come back in and do more of the same.  As I have a lot of other work to do besides painting, I make myself paint three hours a day most every day (except weekends).  With this schedule, I'm able to produce a reasonable number of paintings in a month's time.  The rest of the time is spent doing what I'm doing at the moment, posting to my blog, photographing my work, creating listings here and there online, wherever I'm showing them at the time, reading up on what's going on in the world, playing with my granddaughter, visiting with my daughter, etc., etc.

Regarding other work ventures, I would imagine this 25-minute trick would work just as well, too.  I have heard of authors who are using it and are quite happy with it, saying their productivity and quality have improved.  I know it works for me, and it certainly is easy to apply and manageable.  It also, in my case, makes sure that I don't work tooooooo much in a day and end up burning out and not getting much done the rest of the days.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Lhasa Apso painting I finished yesterday

Again, same old story:  This is a painting I did at the request of a customer at Portland Saturday Market. So, Dear Customer, whose name I didn't get, if this is your sweetie, I hope you like it.

I've been painting a lot!! lately, and I'm enjoying it more and more.  I haven't mentioned, I don't think, that I created a studio outside my house.  It's tiny, but I enjoy it very much - and it's great not to have all my works in progress (and those that need to be done but haven't been started!!!) right in my face all the time.  Now when I go to bed at night, I'm not tempted to jump up and rush over to the easel and make just one more tiny change in a painting.  As a consequence, I think my paintings are becoming much more fresh and not so fussy as they have been in the past.  I have a set number of hours I work in my studio every day (which I most often overrun the hours, but that's okay when I'm having so much fun), and then I can shut the door and have a normal rest of the day without having to think constantly about my work.

The studio is really a large garden shed (8x16', I think it is) that I have emptied of most everything that was in it (and either got rid of what was there or consolidated it all into another shed I have).  I've added only the essentials so far: my painting supplies, a radio, good lighting, my easels, my dog (when I'm in there), and a few reference books.  But I don't even want much in the way of reference books in there because I want to go in there and work (play???) and have as few distractions as possible.  So far, it's been working perfectly. I do still have to insulate the shed, though, because it gets pretty cold in there, and I don't want to have to run a space heater constantly in there.  Insulation costs a lot less than running a space heater constantly.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Wire-haired Fox Terrier acrylic painting

I finished this adorable guy last evening and think he came out pretty well.  He's a wirehaired fox terrier, and I had gotten a lot of requests for one.  A customer sent me a photo to work from, so, Dear Customer of Portland Saturday Market, here is your fox terrier.  I hope you like it.  Both the original and prints are available at either my Etsy or Artfire shops.  The original is 8x10 inches and is painted on a gessoed mdf surface, one of my favorite surfaces to paint on.

Today I'm working on Riley, the golden retriever, a custom painting.  It should be an enjoyable painting to work on as I have myself had a golden retriever and know their general personalities and head structure.

Painting dogs (and any other portrait painting, but especially dogs because of the varied hair covering) can be quite difficult:  I need to know not only the underlying skull and skin structure of not only the specific dog but specific information about the particular breed of dog being painted, but I need to know the length of hair, how it lies on the head (and body in many instances), and even the general personality of the breed and as much information as I can get about the personality of the individual dog, too.

Most of my paintings are done from photos submitted to me by either custom customers or from customers from whom I've requested photos because I would like to paint their specific dog which they've either shown me photos or which they have had with them when I meet them usually at the market.  (Wow, that's a really convoluted sentence!)  Anyway, I usually don't get to meet the dog (or other animal) personally and have to rely on descriptions of personality, etc., and photos from customers.  And sometimes I actually do take the photos of the animal myself if I get to meet him/her in person.  But I've found that my customers often can get better photos of their pet than I can because they can get photos of them in their everyday lives or playing with a favorite toy, etc., something I can't usually get.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Basenji Portrait

This is a little painting I finished yesterday at the request of a customer, who noted that I had neglected to paint this beautiful dog.  They are pretty little dogs, and I had actually painted one several years earlier, sold the original, and then due to a computer crash (and poor backup habits), lost the file of the painting.

I didn't go to Portland Saturday Market this weekend due to weather.  However, unless there's a storm or a bad case of flu or something equally calamitous, I'll be there.

For those of you Portlanders who haven't been there in a long time, you need to come down and check it out.  It's a beautiful place these days, right alongside the Willamette River.

By the way, I must comment on something I overheard at the market last weekend:  I heard a man telling his children who had apparently asked how we artists/craftspeople managed to be able to sell at the market.  The man replied that one only had to pay a fee, and voila, one had a market business!  Well, obviously, that's not at all true.

Each and every artist/craftsperson at the market must go through a rigorous jurying process before we are allowed to sell there.  And we must adhere to strict quality standards throughout our time at the market, too. Each of us there creates his/her own work, from start to finish, and we, as the creators of such art work, must for the most part be present to show and sell it.

The Portland Saturday Market is comprised of a few discrete areas:  First, the beautiful new area designed and built for us just a few years ago alongside the Willamette River, on Naito Parkway; this new area also extends back to and through the underside of the Burnside Bridge, too, due to the large number of people making their livelihood by selling their arts/crafts at the market.  The third area is a quite large area across Naito Parkway from the new part of the market and stops at the fountain on First Street, where the Max passes.

There are "tagalong" markets that have formed all around and even adjacent to Portland Saturday market who, when asked, most often say they are also "Portland Saturday Market."  They are not, and much of their items for sale are not made by them, and if they are made by them, do not adhere to the market's strict quality requirements, and many of their items are imported from other countries.

It's amazing the number of people who come into my booth and ask me where I buy my prints, paintings, who, despite the presence of my name on each and every painting, and the sign in my booth showing me working on a painting, don't understand that I paint for a living and that I love what I do more than anything.
Okay, I'll get off my soapbox for now and head back out to the studio to work on another painting.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Another! Aussie painting!

This is an Australian shepherd painting I finished a couple of days ago.  He's one of four custom paintings commissioned by the first lucky person to take advantage of my once again taking custom orders.  I'll try to remember the other three that I'll be doing:  Let's see, there's an Australian cattle dog (aka red heeler), a Brussels griffon, and a golden retriever.  I think that's all of them.  I'll be starting the second one today, actually.  I don't know yet which one I'm going to start first, though.  I'm excited about doing the griffon; I've never done one before, and I think they are so very cute!  And I've always been fond of the cattle dogs.  Their head structure is very interesting to me.  They're not necessarily very large dogs, but they have a good strong looking, muscular looking head.  And, of course I love goldens.  I've only had one in my lifetime, but he was a real sweetheart.  He lived to be fourteen years old and was very special to me.  And, well, Aussies, I've done so many of them that I feel as if I know them all personally.  They're a bit difficult to paint, though, because every one is entirely different from all the others I've painted.  This one pictured here, is of course, a tricolor with a lot of blue merle markings.  I hear from his mom that I even made him look sweet!!  I'm assuming he can be a bit of a stinker sometimes, judging from that comment.

Okay.  I've been baby-sitting all day (which I loooooove to do) while my daughter worked with her students at a dressage schooling show today.  One of her students won first place, by the way!  Now, though, it's time to go out to my studio and get to work for today.  I didn't go to Portland Saturday Market today because the weather forecast was quite iffy, but it's been for the most part a beautiful day here in Beaverton and I'm sure in downtown Portland, too.  Darn, deceived by the weather man yet again!

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Jersey cow Painting as a Tattoo!!

This is one of the craziest ways I've ever seen anyone "pirate" my artwork (and in this case, I didn't even mind being pirated!).  I was at Portland Saturday market late this past summer (yes, summer is officially over around here) when this young couple came into my booth and were looking at some of my artwork.  Suddenly, the girl screeched with delight and pulled out the print of one of my favorite paintings, my "Sweet Jersey Cow."  She then showed me her leg (photos above).

She said she found my painting through Google images and fell so in love with it that she had it (plus a made-up body) tattooed onto her leg.  It was a pretty amazing day, to be sure, and a lot of fun, too.  Of course, I had to give her a free print after she went to all that trouble with one of my painting images.

Sorry, I didn't get your names, young couple.  And, also, I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to finally get this fun experience posted.  Just too busy, I'm afraid.  But anyway, it was great to meet you both.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Little Sweetie, Harry Barker

I realized that I had never uploaded a painting I did of my little sweetie, a pomeranian.  So, Everyone, I present you Harry Barker!!  He's for the most part a sweetheart -- except, well, when he's not:   For instance, when he's barking nonstop at imaginary intruders, I want to muzzle him.  But he's usually a well-behaved little guy, who realizes that his most important job in the world, besides staying by my side or in my lap constantly, is to alert the whole household if there's any (I mean ANY) potential danger out and about.

He's a little large for a pom, weighing in at between 13 and 16 pounds, the weight variance depending on whether or not I've been too liberal with the treats or keeping him on a tighter regimen.  And he's the hairiest pom I've ever seen.  He's really just a little hairball, moving around with only his feet showing, so he almost looks as if he's a rolling hairball!

Okay, now back to the studio to finish a custom Australian shepherd I'm finishing up.  Yes, this is another Aussie, my fifth in just the past couple of months.  They're beautiful but oh so difficult to paint -- and every one is different, too, with very different colors and markings.  It should be finished today, and I'll upload it tomorrow.

The rest of today my family and I, including my precious little almost-three-year-old granddaughter, are going to the pumpkin patch and corn maze -- and, of course, the farm store! on Sauvie Island, on the Columbia River, just outside Portland.  It should be a fun day -- and, horray, the weather is going to cooperate!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Dachshund Painting I think I failed to post

 This is a fun painting I did a few months ago and I'm pretty sure forgot to post.  I call it "Doxie Field of Dreams."  It's an acrylic painting on a 24x30" (3/4"-deep sides, no staples) of a black-and-tan dachshund seemingly flying over a grassy field.  Actually, the dachshund wasn't really flying (really!!) but was moving along at a really fast clip and was caught by the camera as all four feet were off the ground.  A happier dog I haven't seen in a very long time, and I think it well reflects the vivacity and energy of this small dog breed.

The original (as well as prints) are available at my Etsy shop (see the tab at the top of this page, or click here to go directly to my Etsy shop  I also have the original at the Portland Saturday Market if you live in or are visiting the area and want to see it "up close and personal."  Do be sure to let me know if you're coming to the market to see it because I'm taking a little time off from the market over the next few weeks, and I would want to be sure to be there so you could see it.  The prints, both 8x10 and 11x14, have been slightly cropped to accomodate the different size ratio.  Here's an example of the print:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Slow Day at the Market

Yesterday at Portland Saturday Market was a bit of a flop for me:  If you don't know how the market works, here's a bit of info about it:  It's rather complicated, so I'll try to stick just to the immediate facts.

Due to a point system, we artists/vendors (who for one reason or another don't have a permanent space for the year) are allowed to choose our space for the day or the weekend dependent on our accumulated number of points.  As a "returning artist," (I'll explain that some other time if anyone is interested), I have a small number of points and thus usually don't get a choice of a great spot (this year).  I made a bad choice in the location I did choose, and it had a very strong adverse result on the number of people who passed by my booth yesterday.  I just wasn't thinking but wanted to try someplace I had never been located, too.  It was a big mistake, and my poor sales reflected that bad choice.  Well, okay, it's only one weekend, and I know not to choose that location again in the future!

Overall, though, it's been very good for me to have been at the market all these years I've been there.  I get to "meet and greet" my potential customers; I get to see real-time feedback from customers, using what they say, their body language, what they look at most (and least), etc.  It's a real education for the artist who pays very close attention and can help the artist (or craftsperson) determine what themes/items/sizes, etc. are most likely to please customers and thus create an income.

I have finally started taking just a few commissioned custom painting orders again, so I'm going to be quite busy with them over the next several weeks and may not be at the market as regularly as I have been, but I will go at least every other weekend until the holiday season starts to kick in.  Also, this time of year, customer traffic is generally slower than in the summer and holiday months, so it's a good time to get caught up on other work, such as custom work.

Now to start on a customer's four - or is it five? - dog portraits!  Wish me good painting!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

White Flower in PDX

Here's the flower I talked about in my last post - the one that I spotted as I walked to Portland Saturday Market last Saturday.  I'm happy with it and wish I could keep the original for myself -- alas, however, I have to make a living and so must put it up for sale.  It's going to the market with me this weekend and will be listed on my couple of online venues (Artfire and Etsy) early next week.  It's acrylic on a stretched canvas, 24x24x3/4", with the sides painted the same color as the background, wired and ready to hang as is - or, of course, with a frame if you wish.

I have moved my studio from a room in my house to a shed outside my house to make space for a room for my little granddaughter when she spends the night with me.  So far I like the shed:  It's cosy, private!!!, "inspiring" (because when I'm there, I know I'm there to work and only to work, whereas inside my house, I always had "distractions" that could take me away at a second's notice from my work.)  It was a good move, and my little sweetie loves her new room here.

Well, off to the market for a soggy weekend, I'm afraid.  For those of you who don't live in the Pacific Northwest, we have two seasons pretty much:  wet and dry.  We had a nice three-month of completely dry weather (no kidding, the weather service said we had an 87-day run of almost totally dry days, with a few precious raindrops that fell for literally minutes a few days in there - not even enough to get the yard damp.  Now the rains have come!  That means we'll see a very rare dry day - or part of one - until sometime next early summer if we're lucky.  This past summer (meaning dry time) didn't start until sometime in mid July, which is a few weeks later than normal.  Oh, well, everything will be green again in a few days before the really hard rains start and the colder weather sets in.

I love, love, love being at Portland Saturday Market most of the time, but the rain can really "dampen" one's spirit.  The bright holiday lights coming up soon, though, help to brighten things up again, though.

Oh, here's a photo that I took of the above flower painting.  As you can see, I cheated a little on the painting, especially with an added petal to the right rear -- the photo looks too much like an angel as it really is; and while I like angels just fine, I didn't want anyone to think I was trying to paint an angel-flower.  Just too cheesy for me, I'm afraid.

Again, this flower was quite large, 3-4" diameter, I would say, and all alone beside a traffic control-type box on Naito Parkway, along the Willamette River here in Portland.  A beautiful find!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Another French Bulldog

This is the other Frenchie I painted recently.  The original is on 11x14x3/4" stretched canvas and, like the other one, sells for $100 (plus shipping if applicable).  It's available at either of my online shops, Artfire or Etsy, as well as at Portland Saturday Market.

I'm currently working on a painting of a beautiful flower I found alongside Naito Parkway as I was walking to the market last weekend.  It was a single flower on an at least five-foot plant, and the flower was around three to four inches in diameter.  It was absolutely beautiful.  It was sitting all by itself next to some sort of traffic-control-looking structure alongside the street.  Hope I can do it justice.  I'll show both the photo I took and the completed flower when I get it finished.

Monday, September 24, 2012

This past weekend at Portland Saturday Market

Well, it was a quiet day in Lake Wobegon --- oh, sorry, I meant at Portland Saturday Market (Oregon)!  It was a really quiet weekend, but too bad for those of you who didn't make it down there because the weather was absolutely perfect!  Sunshine, nice warm temperatures, lots of great art (mine included, of course), entertainment, weird people (yes, they make the market special, and they're not tooooo w-e-i-r-d, of course -- well, except for that scantily-dressed guy who was walking past with not much on but some deer horns somehow attached perfectly to his head!)

I took two new paintings that I finished last week (a Frenchie on a bright background and another iteration of one of my favorite subjects, the Jersey cow - which I titled aptly "Jersey girl.")  But, alas, there were very few people to see my artwork, so I got to visit with my fellow artists and craftspeople more than I usually do.

We're only going to have a few more nice weekends (I'm warning you:  the rains are coming!!), so do try to get down there if you live in the area -- or if you're visiting the area -- while the weather is still nice.  It's worth the time taken to get there.

I rearranged my booth this weekend - bad idea! - but it didn't work at all, so I'm going back to my usual layout for next weekend.  I guess it's worth shaking things up a bit from time to time just to see what falls out.  The layout I tried, though, ended up being too crowded in the "customer area" and made it difficult for people with dogs or in wheelchairs to even get into my booth - what was I thinking!!!   Anyway, if you had difficulty getting in for any reason, be assured that it'll be back to "normal" by next weekend.

I have a few photos to upload that are from the market when I have the time to upload them.  I think you'll find some of them really interesting -- especially one concerning the above-mentioned Jersey cow.  Coming soon . . . .

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Sweet Little French Bulldog on a Bright Background

This is a cute little guy I painted this past week and am taking to the Portland Saturday Market tomorrow.  I photographed this pup and one other Frenchie owned by a customer, who allowed me to photograph her dogs to possibly paint them.  I have finished this one and will start on the other one this coming week.  So thank you, dear customer; I'm sorry, I didn't get your name.  But if you want the original painting (11x14x3/4" stretched canvas), be sure to come by the market this weekend -- or email me ( and let me know so I can hold it for you.  It's $100 plus shipping if necessary.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Beautiful Blue Pit Bull -- and Trials and Tribulations of trying to use my Blog as a Website!

Okay, I tried to embed my Etsy store here, and I can't figure it out.  Darn, I would rather just paint!  But I feel I need a connection with the internet now that I've tossed out my website, and I was hoping to use my blog to serve that need.  Obviously, I'll keep trying, but now I need to paint.

I'll add one painting I finished a few days ago, which the original has already been sold, but I do have prints available at my Etsy  (  and Artfire ( shops.    

This is a beautiful "blue" pit bull which I did for a customer -- not a custom, as I've stated before, but one from photos she submitted to me in hopes that I would paint it.  I did.  And she bought the original -- again, at a fraction of the prices I charge (when I'm taking orders for them, which I'm not at present) for custom paintings.  I think he turned out beautifully.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Happy Boxer, Smiling, on Turquoise

I just finished this painting this morning and am quite happy with it.  The original is on an 11x14x3/4" stretched canvas.  (Update:  Sorry, the original painting has been sold.

Prints (8x10" and 11x14") are still available at both my Etsy and Artfire shops (See tabs linking you to either shop at the top of my blog.

I finally got fed up with trying to keep up my website,, so I cancelled it.  It no longer exists, but my email,, does still works.  I realized that, with all the other venues where I show my artwork, I had redundant information on my website.  Plus, I was just having some technical problems with it.  I feel better having dropped it!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Alpaca painting

Once again, I've been remiss at getting my posts up, and I'll really, really, really try harder to do so from now on.  Summer has been here; and although I have been painting regularly, I've also been busy with gardening, playing with my granddaughter, visiting with the rest of my family, attending Portland Saturday Market regularly now!  Well, as you can see, I've been busy.

This is one of the paintings I've finished recently:  a little alpaca, or also called a vicuña.  They're related to the llama and the camel but are smaller and awfully cute.  It's just one more of my farm-animal paintings I've been doing lately.  I'm still really enjoying doing them and even went to the Oregon State Fair yesterday and took a ton of photos (most of them awful!!) that I hope to get a few more farm animal paintings made from.    (I never thought about how the animals are in stalls and not sitting prettily in fields.  I'll see what I can do with them, though.  If they don't work, I guess I'll have to go back out into the country and see what I can find.)

If you have any photos of farm animals that you wouldn't mind if I use for paintings, I would really appreciate it if you could send some to me, (my new email address for the time being at least).  I'll give you a free 8x10 print of the painting if I do use one of your photos.

I've been making a few other changes lately, too.  I'm dropping my website of 16 years because -- well, for various reasons.  Some of the more important ones are:  one, the software provided with it doesn't work very well and crashes frequently; two, I've been having trouble getting my shopping cart to work correctly (that led to disasterous results recently); three, I feel I'm being ignored by the webhost; and, lastly, I'm being charged a much higher monthly rate than the current monthly rate for my level of hosting service - and cannot get the webhost to respond or to lower my monthly fee.  (The hosting service, by the way, is Yahoo; so at this time I certainly wouldn't recommend them to anyone just starting a website or thinking of switching.)

Back to work now on my latest painting, a long-haired dachshund that someone at Portland Saturday Market graciously allowed me to photograph and paint.  He's a beauty; can't wait to see how he finishes up.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Holstein Cow, Standing, on Blue Background

This is a sweet painting I just finished yesterday afternoon.  She's a Holstein cow that I saw on my neighbor's field when I lived in Denmark last summer.  I couldn't decide on a background, and I love this color of blue that I had put down just to eliminate the white canvas color as I painted, so I decided to enhance it and keep it.  I like the look, modern but classical.

The painting is acrylic, on a stretched 16x20x3/4" canvas, and has been sold.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

English Bulldog Painting - just finished today

This is the sweet little English bulldog painting I mentioned yesterday; I worked all morning on it to finish it, and I really like it.  It's light, not too serious, has an all-around happy look about it.  It feels good to get one kind of right again.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Still working - on an English Bulldog

I'm still working on an English bulldog that I promised someone months ago.  I expect to finish it tomorrow, so I'll post it then.

Life has gotten too complicated again lately, but not in a really bad way.  It's more of a time-management problem than anything else.  So with that in mind, my daughter and I have agreed that there are certain times during the day that I absolutely, positively must not be disturbed.  Those are my painting hours (and other work, too, of course).  I can already tell a difference in my painting time; it's becoming more productive.  And I'm hoping that we'll all have more quality time together as a result, too.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Little Duckling Portrait

Okay, this is the other one I just finished, a sweet little baby duck portrait.  It, too, was a lot of fun.  What more can I say.

Fortunately, summer has finally arrived, so now, instead of staying indoors for large parts of the day to avoid the cold and rain, I have to stay indoors because it's so stinkin' hot!!  I'm not complaining, though; I love it.  It's been a long, long, long winter, and finally, with the rest of the country sweltering, summer has arrived in Oregon!  Horray!

Three Little Piggies

This is a sweet little painting I finished yesterday.  It's just three little pigs, hanging around.  I did it just for fun, and it was fun!  I'm finishing another one today that I did for fun, too, and it'll be listed just after this one.  I think I'm on a farm kick.  But then I have to get back and finish a few promised paintings, too.  I'm painting again!  That makes me really happy.

This painting is, by the way, an acrylic painting on a 16x20x3/4" stretched canvas and has been sold.

Grand Canyon Kaibab Trail on North Rim, Mules and Rider

I'm finally getting some work done again.  I mentioned this painting in a previous posting, and here it is.  It took forever, but I'm pretty happy with the final results.

This painting is created from photos I took when my daughter, Lara, and I went camping on the north rim of Grand Canyon and took a trek down the Kaibab Trail to the bottom.  It was exhausting and exhilirating.  I took these photos of a rider bringing three mules and some supplies out of the bottom.

I must say:  Landscapes are much, much harder than they might seem.  But I'm hooked!  I'm still going to paint dogs, cats, and other animals, but I'm definitely going to pursue more landscape paintings.

Following this listing, I'm going to be listing two more paintings I have recently finished, one just today, in fact.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Yes, I am Alive

I'm still having problems painting, but I'm still working on it.  Unfortunately, I spent nearly a month working on a single much-too-difficult-for-me landscape painting, which I'll build up my nerve and post in the next few days.  It's a painting from some photos I took of a Grand Canyon trip I took quite a few years ago and had meant to paint someday.  I've only recently started doing landscape paintings, and I have a lot (a really LOT) to learn, it turns out.  I had no idea there were so many different greens!!!

Also, if anyone is interested, I am back at Portland Saturday Market again; so if you're going down there, check with the information booth (the red booth near the fountain at the "entrance" to the market) to find out where my booth is, and stop by and say hi.  It's good to be back down there, and I hope just again being among people who like my work will give me more confidence in my painting.  I did sell a large original painting last weekend, so that helped my ego a lot, I must say.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Haystack Rock, Oregon Coast, Painting

This is a painting of Haystack Rock, just off the Oregon coast, at Cannon Beach.  My family and I went there a few months ago and couldn't have chosen a better day to go.  Plus, it was a bit late in the day, so we stayed until sunset.  I sketched and photographed the scene depicted in this painting just as the sun was setting.  It was so beautiful, and I've done my best to communicate the peacefulness, calm, and beauty of that special evening.  Hope you like it.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not stopping doing dog and other animal paintings, but I certainly do want to throw a landscape into the mix every chance I get, too.  It was a bit intimidating to tackle this one, but I'm quite pleased with the results.  Hope I can do it again with my next landscape!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Curious Horse, Paint Bay in Stall 11x14 Painting

This is one of my most favorite paintings I've done.  I went with my daughter out to the barn where she rides these days; and while she rode, I visited with the other horses in their stalls, sketching them and just talking to them.  This particular horse really got my attention, though; he was really friendly and curious about what I was doing.  Anyway, I did this painting from the sketches and photos I shot that day.  It was a really fun painting to do.  It's an acrylic painting on an 11x14x3/4" stretched canvas and will be available on my website as well as other venues.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Australian Cattle Dog "Mr. Redneck"

This is Mr. "Redneck."  I painted him for a customer a few days ago.  She said he's more popular than she is and that he has one of the best personalities she's ever seen.  I can see that personality not only in this painting but in the other photographs she sent to me.

I am currently working on a different painting -- it's not a dog!!  But it is a horse.  My daughter, who is a dressage rider, asked me to accompany her and my little granddaughter to the barn where she rides a few days ago, and I did lots of sketches and took some really great photos.  This painting is coming out of these sketches and photos.  It should be done in a couple more days, and the original will be available on my website.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Australian Shepherd, "Aussie," Tricolored, with blue eyes 11x14x3/4" on canvas

Here's a painting I just finished of a really beautiful Australian shepherd.  She is part of a family of humans and dogs belonging to a friend of mine, and he kindly gave me photos for me to use in paintings.  (Thanks again, Chris.  Two down, two to go!)

It's an 11x14" original acrylic painting on stretched 3/4"-deep canvas and is available for sale at my website.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Basset Hound Puppy Sitting in Field

I really enjoyed doing this painting.  It took me way, way, way too long to paint, but I enjoyed it so much that I took my time.  Some paintings are like that.

Once again, I need to try to paint a little faster - I do have bills to pay, unfortunately - but sometimes I do enjoy really slowing down and savoring each blob of paint I add and work into just the right place.

This painting is an acrylic painting on 11x14x3/4" stretched canvas.  The sides have no staples and are painted the same color as the green and blue background, so it can be hung either unframed or framed, as you wish.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pygmy Goat on Green Field Painting

This is a painting I finished yesterday.  It's a pygmy goat, who I'm sure is thinking about what she's going to eat next -- the newly planted flowers or the beautiful small pink dogwood tree that I loved so much.  I've had a few of these little adorable and frustrating creatures back when I had a horse farm and lived out in the country, and every day I altered from wanting to make them wear a sign that said, "Free, take me," to hugging them for making me laugh so hard.  And, yes, the one we had the very longest, Sophie, really did eat my poor little dogwood down to a stump -- and my forsythia and all my flowers -- and then went and danced on my beloved Porsche.  And that was all in just one day!

Anyway, the painting is acrylic on an 11x14x3/4" stretched canvas, with the sides painted green, so is ready to hang with or without a frame.  It's available at my website,  I really like this painting and enjoyed doing it.  Hope you do, too.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hereford Cow at Tillamook, OR

This is a small cow painting I just finished today of a Hereford cow that I photographed in Tillamook, OR, near the cheese factory there.  It was a fun, beautiful day, and I photographed a lot of farm animals, many of which I've already painted.  This girl was really suspicious of me and my camera but curious enough that I managed to get a few shots of her before she took off to a safe distance.

I'm going back to the Coast next week, so I'll be getting some more good images to be painting.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pit Bull Puppy Painting

This is a painting of a little pit bull puppy that I just finished yesterday.  It looks just like one I used to have, named Edwin.  This little guy's name is Charlie, and he's one of the paintings I've done for someone who knows that I don't like to do custom, commissioned paintings but that I will paint your dog for you, but I get to make all the decisions -- and I charge less.  Otherwise, it's just like a commissioned painting, but the pressure for me has been lightened, not removed, just lightened.  I don't guarantee to paint every photo submitted to me, but I do my very best to do so.  

The person whose dog this is chose to purchase the painting, but there is no obligation to purchase anything at all from me.  I just need good images of dogs to paint, and I don't have the time to go out and find dogs to photograph and paint on my own all the time.  So it's a win-win situation for all of us.

Hope you like this one.  I think pit bulls are such beautiful dogs.  Headstrong, yes.  Mean, no more than any other dog I've ever had -- which in my case is never, never, never.   You've heard it a million times, and it's true:  Mean or bad dogs come from mean or bad owners.  And the reverse is true, too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bichon Frise Portrait 20 of 30 Daily Paintings

This is a little bichon frise painting I did for a regular customer recently.  I said I wasn't going to do any more custom work, but she was a multiple repeat customer, so I couldn't say no.  Plus, she was getting for a relative who had recently lost the dog, so that made it even more important that I do it for her.

It always makes me so sad to do a painting of a dog that is gone.  Even with the still-around portraits I do, I become very emotionally invested in painting the dog's (or other animal's) portrait.  When I know the dog is gone, it makes doing the painting much more emotionally difficult.  It's such a shame that our best four-legged friends live such short lives compared to ours.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Yorkshire Terrier 19 of 30 Daily Paintings

This little yorkie was a small painting I did for a regular customer. I think I'll probably go back in and fluff up the body hair a bit and tie it to the head by color a bit more, too; but otherwise, I really like it.  That's one problem I've always had with Yorkies:  their face colorations are almost always very different from their bodies, and in paintings, it looks like two different dogs were stuck together.  I'll post the change - if it's significant - after I do it.

I feel I've been learning so much since I've started my daily painting challenge (and, yes, I realize that I'm behind schedule, but it's my challenge and I'm in charge of it).  It's also given me a great sense of discipline, too, much more than I've ever had before.

Especially when I'm having a tough time making myself go to the easel, I set a timer for 15 minutes and tell myself that that's all I have to paint this session, just 15 minutes.  About an hour or so later, I finally decide to take a break for a while.  Works every time.

Starting paintings is easy, and I move along very happily confident in my abilities.  Then I reach that middle part of the painting, where everything looks pretty darned hopeless (but I know every one of my paintings has to go through this, and they usually come out the other end just fine).  This period is when I most need to push myself to keep coming back to the easel, even when I'm afraid.  Then finally I get through this stage, and the sailing is pretty smooth through to the end -- unless I decide that it needs just one more little touch-up -- then one more, then one more, etc.  That's when I really get into trouble, and that's one thing I've learned with these daily paintings, is when the put the brushes down.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Black Rooster "Lookin' for Trouble", 18 of 30 Daily Paintings

Painting this rooster was a bit of a change for me, and I hope to do more of them in the future. As you can see in my website, most of my paintings are of dogs. But I do plan this year to branch out into other areas as well.

It was a fun painting, though, and I do look forward to doing more birds of every kind, not just farm fowl.  I do love my "job"!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Basset Hound Pup Portrait

This is number 16 in my 30 day painting challenge!

This little guy is painted on an 8x10 stretched canvas, with 3/4" sides, painted the same blue as the background.  It's wired on the back and ready to hang, with or without a frame.  It's available for sale on my website,

The lovable Basset Hound, has a very positive reputation as being generally very calm, well behaved, gentle, and devoted companion dog. They are very fond of human interraction, and are known as being extremely well behaved with children, and have the intelligence to show extra care around them. They're a slow moving type of dog, with short, and stout legs. And as any hound, they rarely bark, and howl more often than not, but when they do bark, it is very deep, and has an almost musical tone to it.
Basset Hounds are also very skilled at doing tricks, and will quickly learn various kinds of them, provided that they get a treat, of course!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Australian Shepherd, tricolored, No. 15 of 30 Daily Paintings

Okay, I'm halfway in doing my 30 Daily Paintings; and although I'm painting daily (really hard!) I'm producing a little more slowly than I had anticipated.  The chief reason for this is that I'm doing some paintings on much larger canvases, and I just can't put down that much paint in one day when I'm doing, say, a 16x20" canvas, as in this case.

This Aussie was one I think I mentioned earlier that had been submitted to me by a customer/friend.  I'm quite happy with it, and I hope he likes it, too.  

As with all my paintings, the original and prints are available on my website.

By Mark:  The Australian Shepherd, also known as Aussie, is a robustly built, loyal dog with a puppy temperament that lasts into their adult years. They make for very effective watch dogs, as they tend to bark noisily at individuals or critters that are not normally in the area.

They have a potential health hazard in the merle coloration gene, since the same gene carries a natural blindness/deafness factor, which is a risk of ‘awakening’ in the dogs later years. Also, since the Aussie is a natural bob-tail breed, if they are bred with another natural bob-tail, the puppies have a very high chance of developing crippling spinal defects. But as any gene carried risk, the risk is not serious or high enough to make the breed unfit in any case. An Aussie is in general a fantastic, friendly, and playful dog that requires lots of activity and positive attention.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Holstein Cow on Blue, No. 14 of 30 Daily Paintings

The following paragraph is by my sweet son-in-law, Mark, who is helping me out a bit with my online work so I can spend more time painting!

"This is a painting of a Holstein Cow, which originated in the Netherlands. It is today the most efficient dairy producing animal in the world, and in my opinion, also one of the cutest!
Holsteins have been known to be all black, all white, a mix of the two, or even red and white, which is slightly less common than the traditional black and white mix. Their reason for import to the US was due to disease spreading amongst the cattle, and 8800 Holstein cows were imported to the new world, where they, obviously, flourished to become the most efficient species of dairy cows currently in existence."

I think he did a great job - and he's helping me immensely!  Mark, if you read this, thanks so much!

The painting is a small one, 8x10" on stretched canvas, with 3/4" sides, painted blue.  The back is wired, so the painting is ready to hang, either framed or unframed.  This cow is another one I got sketches and photos of on my fairly recent trip to the dairy farms around Tillamook, Oregon, on the Pacific Coast -- well, a bit inland, I guess, but you can certainly feel the sea air around there.  It's available for sale on my website, and here's the link for it - and other farm animal paintings I've done:

I'm now working on a larger painting, which is going to take at least three days to finish.  I'm really enjoying it so far.  It's an Australian shepherd, a tricolor, sent to me by a dog-lover.  He has several Aussies and I'm going to try to paint all of them over time.  I'll post the painting in just a few more days.