Sleep in Blue


I titled this sketch “Sleep in Blue.” It is of my son sleeping, because toddlers are hard to draw unless they are sleeping.




Rambutans or Lychee nuts are just amazing. I only remember eating fresh Lychee nuts once before but I absolutely loved them, so, when I saw these in the store the other day I had to get them. I loved the textures and colors of these Lychees and decided to paint them as a study.





About a year and a half ago, I got inspired to do a series of portraits that portrayed the seasons. Three of my friends really reminded me of different seasons both in personality and face tone, so, I asked them to model for me. I borrowed a Nikon camera and did a photo shoot with each one of them to get some good reference photos. I first completed “Fall” and afterward hurried to complete “Spring” for an art show I had last year. We moved twice after that, one time all the way from South Carolina to Montana, so, needless to say I was a bit too busy to finish the last two paintings. My “Winter” painting was the only one I could finish at the moment, because I still haven’t found the perfect model for my “Summer” painting.

To complete this painting, I used two reference photos and combined them in a drawing. By sketching the portrait first, I was able to get the correct proportions for my painting surface. I then drew the portrait out on my board and started painting. I used cooler shades for both the background and the face tones to represent the winter theme. I ran into a couple rough spots, but in the end, it was just great to finish a painting that had been so long on my mind.

Art Books I Love

Reading is right up there on my favorite list with doing any kind of art. I could spend all day reading, in fact, I have. So, books about art, I just can’t resist. Learning from and being inspired by other artists is so important, and the artists that wrote these books are some of the …

Sketch for a Painting



Over a year ago I did a photo shoot with my lovely friend for a painting. This painting will be named “Winter” and will be the third in the seasons series that I started last year. You can see “Spring” and “Fall” here.  Life just kept getting in the way, but I’m glad to finally start this portrait that has been put off for so long.

Painting Process



A couple of weeks ago we took a hike up Mt. Henry. There is nothing but rocks covered with lichen and weathered wood near the top. I took a picture of this old stump and was inspired by texture of the twisted wood. The snow, ice, and wind had shaped the tree making it into something rugged and original.

Although I loved the textures in this picture, they were quite the challenge to paint. I almost gave up on this landscape once I got to the detail. From now on I think I’ll avoid bark and rocks.

Here is the beginning stage of my painting. I sketched the main shapes and colors with a paintbrush and some acrylic paint.


Next I blocked in the colors and finished most of the background with oil paint.


After this stage, I focused on the shadows and highlights on the wood and rocks. Let me know what you think of my painting and my painting process.





The rivers and lakes around Kalispell MT have some beautiful rocks. My son and I collected several small rocks whenever we went fishing, camping, swimming, or canoeing this summer. Tally lake had a variety of spectacular orange rocks and we got some beautiful blue stripped rocks at the Flathead river. After a few weeks of doing this, we had quite a collection and I wanted to display them. Rocks look way more vibrant under water, so, I decided to get a bowl and put the rocks in it with some water.

My husband teases me that I got the gold fish just because of the rocks, and I have to admit it’s true. It didn’t make much sense to just have a bowl with water in it and no fish.  The gold fish we ended up with is one of the friendliest gold fish that I have ever seen. It comes up to the glass just to look at me whenever I get near it. This little fish has added such joy to our lives and now I get rocks for the fish instead of the other way round.

I did this piece from life with watercolor paint and micron.

Mama’s bread



I drew this yesterday as my little guy was eating some homemade bread for breakfast. Drawing a toddler is quite a challenge, and this is one of the first times I was successful drawing him wile he was awake. I’ve only gotten some gesture sketches in between movements before this. I’ll post some drawings I’ve done wile he was asleep soon.

Lone Pine



This weekend my son and I took a hike at Lone Pine State Park. This park has become one of my favorite places to hike because it is challenging, has great views, and feels safe. The steep trails are even more of a challenge when carrying a thirty pound toddler. Packing him up the mountain is my fitness plan to prepare me for hunting season, and it seem to be working just great. Last weekend I easily kept up with my husband on a hike for the first time in, well, ever actually.

After getting over the steepest half of the hike, I took my little guy out of the hiking backpack so that he could wear some energy off. We put our arms out and pretended to be airplanes as we jogged along the dusty trail. Our shadows flitted across the ground like birds. It’s good to see the world through a a child’s eyes again.

We collected the pine cone and needles along the trail. I drew them with micron.




Fall came very quickly to Montana this year. Just a couple of weeks ago it was in the nineties and now we are using a space heater all night. It was brisk yesterday morning, but my little boy and I still bundled up and went on a walk to the park. Wile there we found some of the first fall leaves and filled our hands with them for the trip home.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons for many different reasons.  The main one is that it contains so many childhood memories for me.  Fall was the season that our friends would visit the Yaak from Germany. I remember wearing my little blue hoodie and putting my hands in the pockets because it was chilly. I would follow after the grown ups like this, listening to their conversation sprinkled with the thick German accent. I also loved the smell of fresh cut firewood and the sound of fire crackling in the fireplace as I was falling asleep. I remember going out side to look at the stars with my Grandpa and Grandma when they came to visit one fall. I was so little that my Grandpa put my feet in his sweater pockets to keep them warm.

Fall also provides so many new things for the senses. Who doesn’t love the smell of wood smoke in air or cookies fresh out of the oven? Or the sound of the brisk wind blowing through the trees. I also love seeing the aspens and the larches turning yellow and gold every year. Please, leave a comment and tell what you love about this season.

I did this painting with watercolor paint in a Moleskin notebook.