My Granddaughter Meghan

Makeup by Mary Kay Thanks Dawn.
Tonight was our granddaughers' (she turned 17 in March) Prom and all I can say is WOW...isn't she just stunning...and don't they make the cutest couple? It was a stressfull day. The woman who was to cut her hair renigged, and I didn't expect to do a haircut so I did not come prepared. A pair of large material cutting Friskars and I did a kitchen haircut.... The florist did not do the one had to be made at the last minute and instead of just streaking Meghans hair ; at literally the last minute ,we decided to lighten it all...what a trooper she was. Fully confident, cool, calm and collected..Meghan. Nice to know she has "faith" in her ole' grandma and her mother. Michelle did her makeup and our cameras were just snapping away... She had a smile on her face as did Nick,,,so all turned out and they are having a good time...I am sure. She has to be the most beautiful girl at the Prom.

Silk Moths

These two photos were taken by my daughter V. Michelle who also loves taking pictures as much as I do and strives for the unusual. She may be one up on me for these two. One photo is of a single moth and the other photo is of two. ( I added larger photos for you to click on so the detail is clearer but it is not happening so if you want to see her original one that is clickable to larger go to: Check out the beautiful detail work on their bodies. They are furry, and Michelle says the body is black, red and white striped, and how about their antenae? She just called me a few minutes ago as she had her daughter "catch" them and put them in a cage so that my Son in law could see them when he gets home from work and the female has laid 9 eggs that Michelle says are about the size of seed beads......she said she actually got to see her lay them and the quick flutterings of the awesome. (Although I am sure I would have taken my picutre, ran inside the house and shut the door quick, rather than bring them into my home.....) They are beautiful but at the same time creepy....

The specie is prevalent in our area of Oregon. They are raised by
farmers for silk...but know of none here in our this may
be something not of the norm.

Just had to share the pictures with those of you who follow my blog and are interested in what is here for us to be astounded by on a day to day basis and being able to catch the moment.


I'm Coming Mom

Our little dog LOVES, the sand at the beach, the snow, dirt roads and green grass when she can just "let loose" and go as fast as her little legs will carry her to show her enthusiasm. I was so lucky to catch her ears on the upswing so you can tell just how fast she is coming. I love seeing her happy like this, enjoying life and getting some of the joy back that she gives us. So this is my funniest shot of the day.


My favorite photo of todays "shooting" is this one I call Coming Through which was taken at my friend Nancy's house. The greenery, the fence, the light and shadows...just a pretty little picture.

Spent Danderlions

I was surprised the way this turned out----I love these weeds and especially when they are spent and ready to fly away.....

Painterly Style

Some people regard an expressive or painterly style to be less than finished. But it's not a style of painting where the end result is smooth and glossy like a photograph. It's a style which celebrates the materials made to create it: paint and a brush. The result only a painter could produce.

When I paint a landscape/scenery I love the way the impressionistic style finishes. A photograph is a photograph...and I see many painters who's finished work looks just like this....a photograph and that is not what I am out to achieve. It is not a matter of right or wrong but a matter of personal preference/technique/style, etc. I think this is why I use slip slap strokes when I paint as often as I can because I feel the mixture
of the colors provides the interest I am looking for....and a more realistic painting vs smooth and sleek.

Taking Good Photos

r Taking good photos is more than just "snapping the picture" and hoping for the best. Think about light source just as you do when you are painting. Frame with your eye, the image on your screen or through your view finder. Have eyestoppers that will keep you "in" the picture and not sliding off the sides/top or bottom. Once again just like when you paint. If you find you cannot focus on the subject in the viewfinder you won't be able to once you have taken the picture.

I love my digital camera which is an 18x Optical Zoom Panasonic Lumix FZ18. Your photos will only be as good as the options your camera has..... I love capturing nature, using my photos for reference and matting/framing for art in my home so a good camera is something that is really important to me.

Blue Spruce

I love the color of new blue spruce evergreen pine needles. These look almost irridescent to me, and such a gorgeous, beautiful shade of blue green.

Spring has Sprung in Photos

I love taking pictures. It seems as if just overnight our fruitless cherry tree bloomed. Sunday it was green and today
this is what I see. GORGEOUS and the smell is just heavenly. My lilacs are also leafed and blooming so hopefully I will have flowers soon. Our temperatures have been 80 and above for about 4 days. The birds are just soar, nose dive and frolic in the front of the house as if they are also celebrating spring. Click on the photos so they will enlarge for a better view.

New Design DVD by Jillybean

I just got an email from Jillybean and she has an awesome new DVD out for a snow leopard. It is absolutely gorgeous. Right now she is offering it as a special. You can see it and her other art at:

While you are there take a look at her free download sheets for the new butterfly brushes from Dynasty. I purchased my brushes awhile ago and just have not had time to "play"....soon I hope.

Painting Skies and Clouds

Oregon Sunset (copywrite 2009)

There is more to painting clouds that just the brush to be used. Once you learn techniques you can use just about any type of brush you find comfortable. I have used a dry brush, angle, filbert, etc. to paint clouds. A lot depends on the type of cloud, the season of the year and the effect desired when choosing a brush type.

There is not just one type of cloud, and clouds are not just white any more than a sky is just blue.

I use my camera a lot to provide me with a scrapbook of examples and living in both OR and PA have provided me a lot of differences that are helpful.

I have found that my "best luck" has come from painting wet on wet. Painting in this manner allows you to mix and/or blend your colors and create soft edges easily. My mediums of choice are the
line of mediums by Brenda Harris. They are awesome. You do not want clouds that appear to be setting on top of your background color as I see so often. Soft edges and color mixes, as well as wet on wet allows you to not just paint a sky with white clouds; but clouds that reflect the rest of your design and seem to blend in with the sky. Through experimentation and practice you will be able to achieve many different looks. I also use a dry brush (as it is a bit stiffer) or if that doesn't work an artist signature brush
Maxines' Mop.

Use colors such as crimson, ochre, umbers, and different shades of blue to create and duplicate the beauty of nature. I especially like to use Paynes grey in a stormy sky for winter or rainy skies.
Use a color such as raw sienna, or burnt umber in your sky if you are using it in your main design in a house, barn, etc.

Also of importance is to remember perspective. Cloud formations are narrower, smaller and lighter the further away they are, or easier to remember: the closer they are to your horizon line.

Fade your edges out into a thinner, wispier line. Make your cloud formation smaller at the beginning and end.

My choice for brushes 9 times out of 10 is from one of the Dynasty lines of brushes. I love the quality, the way it feels in my hand, and the way it performs.

Cumulus: Strong winds seem to form these clouds so you want a lot of action when you paint working faster and a bit choppier. I like to do slipslap for this type of action sky. Random x strokes in different sizes and different directions.
Stratus: Sweeping, horizontal and long clouds which are more parallel...almost a ribbon like appearance.
Cirrus: Clouds which are high in the atmosphere, feathery with a windswept appearance. Work lightly between brush and surface to get the wispy effect that suggests this type of cloud formation.
With these clouds you may want to glaze a bit of red, orange or
ochre color to give just the suggestion of color. This can be done
using a transparent color and some of Brenda Harris' Clear medium as a mix.

Clouds are all about achieving "effect" rather than just painting a cloud in a blue sky. There are many elements to be considered. Just a brush choice is not the only choice in a successful, realistic

Newest Art Pieces and a Challenge

I love working on smaller canvas pieces and these are 2 of my newest pieces. The mountain scene is 4"x 6" (from a photo of the Cascade Mt. range here in Bend, OR) and the patriotic butterfly is ATC size. It is hard to "scale down" but I love smaller.

I am just beginning what is called a paper bag altered art book which promises a lot of frustration until I get
"underway". My theme for the book will be Central OREGON and it is for an exchange. I am hoping she will be kind on my first venture into the world of "paper"...

I love making altered art jewelry. The above two photos are my favorite rings which are being sent to a shop in Pennsylvania to a new Handmade Boutique (which is opening up on Route #6) along with about 15 other pieces of altered art jewelry necklaces, pins and a delightful vintage watch and lampwork bracelet.
I love the fact that I can change my art forms when I get a "fancy" to.

Karon's lampwork bracelets

These two bracelets are a first time attempt by
my friend Karon who lives "up the way" from me.
She chose the handmade lampwork beads from my daughters' Etsy site ( The beads were made in her SunRiver, OR lampwork studio using colored Italian Marretti Glass rods)
according to what she felt her daughter and a friend from CA would choose and then we designed the bracelets to match their personalities. Karon learned how to build the bracelet to fit, when to use a spacer or a beadcap and many other tibits of jewelry making. We used Swarowski crystals, pearls, Tierra Cast clasps, spacers, etc. made right here in the USA that are top of the line in quality.

I think she did a great job and when she was done she had a beautiful "piece of art".
It is so much fun to get together with friends and work on projects. You chat, solve the worlds' problems, laugh a lot and just have a wonderful fun filled few hours of sharing with another. individual. It doesn't get much better than this.
NOTE: If you click on the bracelet pictures they will enlarge and you can see them much better.

Interesting Tibit on Shading/Transparency

When shading use a transparent color. To check for transparency of a color....use a newspaper. Swipe your brush across the print with the color you are thinking of using. If it colors the newspaper and you can still read the print..the color is transparent and a good shading color. If you cannot read the print, the color is opaque (contains white) and you would not want to use this color. Thanks Margot Clark for this great information.

Small Easel and Sky

I am really enjoying the smaller canvases but my big easel just
wasn't "working". Then I discovered this recipe box/holder in my stash and it works like a "charm". Something made for something entirely else working in our little painting world is
"a good thing", don't you think? I drape a paper towel over the front of the piece (which at this time is just the raw pine surface)
and paint away.
I have taken a picture of the canvas I am working on with the
sky portion completed...I am delighted with the way it has turned out and the sad part? Not a lot will be "showing" because of the design in the foreground (yet to be done) so this photo will help as a guide for a landscape design in the future. The sky shows how my little easel works.... I will be offering some pattern packets soon that will provide some instructions on how to do some easy "but special" "things" so stay tuned.
AND....the sky was painted on the fine art canvas board that I love which are handmade, tube acrylics, and a plain ole' angle brush (Black Gold brand) doing slip slap strokes.
So if you are hooked on "smaller" look for the surface, grab an angle and "do it" too.


Freezing fog on a pine tree bough.