Portland Streetcar

7"x 5"
acrylic on masonite

I loved the light filtering in through the trees and the color of the streetcar!

"The Portland Streetcar is a system in Portland, Oregon that opened in 2001 and serves surrounding downtown Portland....It is the first new streetcar system in the United States since World War II to use modern vehicles. " ( from Wikipedia)


Color Sketch For Shea Center Painting

5"x 7"
Acrylic on board

Here is a color sketch for a painting I'm doing for an auction for the Shea Center in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

"The J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through therapeutic horse-related programs."

"The Center's staff is highly skilled in developing and delivering therapeutic programs to address physical and cognitive challenges. We have treated more than 70 physical and cognitive challenges including: cerebral palsy, spinal cord and brain injury, muscular dystrophy, mental retardation, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, attention deficit disorder, autism spectrum disorders, and hearing and visual impairment."

I was able to tour the center while visiting Southern California this summer and was very impressed with the facility and the services they offer.

Plus, my sister works there! ;)

The painting is of the open space in San Juan Capistrano and is done from a photo, with permission, from the Friends of Sam Allevato website.


Finding Paintings In Random Photos - Girl In Surf

Girl In Surf
16"x 8"
acrylic on canvas

I painted this little girl to go with the little boy painting I posted on 6/15/2010 . I painted them side by side to make sure that I captured the same color and light. I found both of these children while searching through random photos I took at Newport Beach in southern California.

The little girl is easy to see at the right side of the picture.

The little boy is harder to find, but he is also on the right side of this picture.

By taking random photos, I am able to capture spontaneous and natural postures that may only last a moment.

I am always excited to see what I have captured when I go searching through the photos after I've loaded them on my computer. I often find several moments to paint in each photo or combine elements from several photos.

Really, I'm not a very good photographer so I am THRILLED if I find something to paint! Taking 'random' photos is my cover for not taking 'good' photos! ;)


Early Morning Along The 5

5"x 7"
acrylic on masonite

I like to ride shotgun when I'm in the car so I can take pictures out the window as we drive. It's safer than when I'm driving! ;)
This shot was taken driving north on the 5, just outside of LA at about 8 a.m. The light was beautiful!


Where's The Balance?

16"x 8"
acrylic on canvas

May was a challenging month.

I was fortunate to be in two art shows, but needed to paint at least 10 pieces within a few weeks.
I kept thinking, "I hope I can do this." "I hope this works".

That's why Seth Godin's blog post caught my eye:

" 'This better work'

... is probably the opposite of, "this might work."

"This better work," is the thinking of safety, of proven, of beyond blame.

"This might work," on the other hand, is the thinking of art, innovation and insight.

If you spend all day working on stuff that better work, you back yourself into a corner, because you'll never have the space or resources to throw some 'might' stuff into the mix. On the other hand, if you spend all your time on stuff that might work, you'll never need to dream up something that better work, because your art will have paid off long ago."

On the one hand, I was thankful for the shows and the deadline and the challenge to get the work done. I didn't have time to over think. I just painted. I produced more than I thought I could. In fact, I believe that two of my favorite pieces were the result of the time constraint. I was thinking, "this might work" and it did!

On the other hand, I sometimes felt that I was rushing the process and working just to get done and not taking the time needed to paint something great.

Yesterday, without a deadline looming over me, I found myself spending hours sifting through my photos, trying to decide on something to paint. Something that 'better work'. I looked and cropped and thought and doubted. Should I? Shouldn't I? Is it good?

I didn't get any painting done.

For me, there seems to be a fine line between having enough space to create the stuff that 'might' work (within which I find the stuff that 'does' work)


having TOO much space and time to, over think, over plan and never do.

Where's the balance?!

I need to use the time to paint and know that it 'might work' and if it doesn't, I still have time.


Afternoon Chat

Afternoon Chat
16" x 20"
acrylic on canvas board

In the crazy, busyness of life as a homeschooling mother of 4 active kids, I find myself continually drawn to finding, contemplating and painting simple moments: appreciating and applauding those who find a way to slow down.

A recent painting for the show "NW Art Herstory" on June 4th.


End Of Day

End Of Day
8"x 24"
acrylic on canvas

One of the things I loved about moving from southern California to Portland, Oregon was the ability to drive west for five minutes and see beautiful farmland. This piece will be in the Art and Agriculture show at the Columbia Center for the Arts Gallery in Hood River in May.

Here's a detail of the above painting. I love the span of color I can get when mixing green with ultra marine blue, cobalt blue, raw umber, burnt sienna, nickel azo (one of my faves!), yellow ochre and hansa.


Big Yellow Bag

10"x 10"
acrylic on canvas

This is from another random photo. I was initially drawn to the composition, the light, color, the girl contemplating her laptop, but surprisingly, I really enjoyed painting her big yellow bag!

Painting available at Paradise Perks in Irvine, CA


Finding Paintings In Random Photos

I find that I am always taking my camera with me, wherever I go, looking for inspiration. Sometimes I just take random pictures as I am passing by, especially if there is interesting light, shadows, colors, or shapes that catch my eye. I am always excited to get back to my studio, download the pictures and revisit the images I took, often not knowing what I will find...as in the above photo.

It wasn't until I started looking closer and cropping that I found the beautiful light and shadow play, the wonderful color palette and the peaceful image of someone enjoying tea on a lovely afternoon with a close companion! AND THEN it wasn't until after I started painting that I noticed the person sitting in the shadows, on the ground petting the dog!

10"x 10"
acrylic on canvas
Available at Paradise Perks


Late Fall In Downtown Portland

8"x 10"
acrylic on masonite

This painting is of a street in downtown Portland, Oregon. I thought it would make a nice compliment to the two previously posted paintings of San Francisco and New York City. I was struck by the very different color palettes of the cities.

8"x 10"
acrylic on masonite
San Francisco

8"x 10"
acrylic on masonite
New York City

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