Looking Back

Sometimes looking back gives you a vision for the future. I was reminded of this wile looking through an old sketchbook from college recently. It was interesting to see how much my art has changed and surprising to see that the fine lines and gentle shading had been replaced by a hurried boldness. In many ways, this change in my art is a reflection of the changes in my personality and life. Wile noting these changes over the past five years, I began thinking about what I would like my art to look like five years in the future. (Will that really be 2022? That’s insane.) Primarily, I would like to grow in originality and style have my art recognizable as uniquely Aspen Creek Art.

In what way has your art changed over the past few years and what is your vision for your artistic future?

Here are a few more of my old sketches from college. Enjoy!







Shape and Shadow

I have always admired art that has a good balance between simplicity and complexity. When drawing this self portrait, I wanted experiment with the use of shape and shadow as a way to simplify and better my work. First, I chose dramatic lighting to accentuate the shadow shapes on my face. I then sketched out the basic shapes of my face and hair before filling them in to varying degrees with a number six pencil.


Pen and Ink



I’ve been doing quite a few pen and ink drawings lately for inktober. This first sketch is of a bob cat scull that was sitting on the shelf in our living room. I think my husband acquired it somewhere.





This second drawing is of a farmhouse that we pass almost every day. I did diluted India ink washes as a base and then did pure India ink drawing with a calligraphy nib.



There is a whole flock of geese at the park that I take my son to each week. They are obnoxious and hiss at us, but I love their beautiful forms and colors. I’ve been longing to draw these geese all summer and I finally decided to do it for Inktober. I used a watered down India ink with a brush for these sketches.



I also saw this seagull at the park and thought, what on earth is a seagull doing in Montana. Then I remembered Flathead lake and how large it is. I used watered down ink and pure India ink with a pen for this sketch.


Trail Ride



When our family from South Carolina came to visit us, one of the things on their western bucket list was to go on a trail ride. I’ve always been a bit scared of horses because of difficulties handling them in the past, but I wanted to go along anyway. We saddled up at a great outfit called Artimis Acres and stared off on a dusty trail following our wrangler. It was one of the last warm and sunny days of the fall here in Montana and was fantastic for a horse back ride. The azure blue of the sky was a perfect contrast for the golden aspen leaves. Grasshoppers made a raspy clicking sound as they flew away from the horses feet. We rode through meadows, up logging roads, and up a steep mountain to a look out with a great view of the Flathead Valley.

The hour ride went very quickly and by the end, I wanted to do it all over again. The horse I rode was a paint named Patches. She was perfectly behaved except for stealing a couple of mouthfuls of grass along the trail. She also walked the entire way, just my kind of horse. Even though I was sore for a couple of days, I didn’t regret going on bit.

Our wrangler was a real western woman..from Florida. But seriously, she really knew her horses and how to train and handle them. I have the utmost respect for people that can work with horses day in and day out. I snapped a picture of our guide before we got off our horses and drew it with micron.

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.

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.

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.