Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu

We went to Ghost Ranch today. It was so wonderful out there with the snow on the ground and hardly anyone there. Jeff hiked in the snow and climbed up big hills while I walked to the Casitas and checked them out then waded through the light snow in Box Canyon then read in the library for awhile. I love that I got to slip in a winter visit. I want to stay for a full week this Summer to paint.

Chama River in the snow.

Pedernal Mountain in the distance.

The library, open 24-7. My favorite place to sit and read for hours.

Kitchen Mesa

Monday, December 28, 2009

Charlie and Roxanne

"Charlie", another 14x18" oil. He has a beard, so maybe here his chin looks uber long...I need it too look like this because I need to work on the skin tones underneath the beard. So it looks "off" at the moment. Raw umber sketch for the underpainting. Click to embiggen for detail. These sketches are just the bones of the piece, which will, of course improve as the painting progresses.

Jake, Aubrey and Zen Garden

Underpainting sketch for "Jake" 14x16" oil

Underpainting sketch for "Aubrey" 14x18" oil

Apparently I am incapable of taking time off. I'm going to work on the underpaintings for the 5 portraits I have sketched out, over the next week as I find the time. I can work in the burnt umber and let it dry but once I start a face, I pretty much have to work on it until it's completed or it dries up and I can't fuss with the oil paint the way I'd like. So, for now, as I have time, I'll be working on the underpainting sketches for several portraits. I'm officially on vacation until Monday next, so I imagine I won't show lots of progress over the next week.

Click on the pics to embiggen them. As always, I have to caution, please don't be freaked out by the sketch or the beginning of the piece...they usually look pretty looney when I'm just beginning.

I'm also working on this landscape of the Zen Garden at Ghost Ranch. I love portraits but need to keep working in landscapes too or I miss them. I'm nothing if not all over the place.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from New Mexico!

Merry Christmas all!!

I'm taking a week off to play. Hope you are all having a good holiday time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

This is our home in New Mexico. After Christmas I'll post some pictures of my studio.

We're heading out for our long flights home in the morning. I hope you and yours really enjoy the holidays!

Monday in Michigan

I'm pretty sure you can't see this clearly but there's a big bunch of turkeys under that tree. This was taken on Sunday at Stoney Creek Park, one of my favorite places here in Michigan. Two more days and we're heading back home to New Mexico. I can't wait. I'm taking a few ays off from painting because of the travel we're going to be doing, and because of Christmas. I'll get back to work in a couple of days. If you drop by, hope you and your have a good holiday.

Friday, December 18, 2009

"Sara" completed

"Sara" completed. 14x18" oil on canvas board. This portrait took me twice as long as they normally do . I ran into a lot of complications and made some changes along the way such as removing the block of trees to the left of the figure. Click the image to enlarge for detail.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I'm finally all set up and ready to work. The top picture is the burnt umber underpainting, the second is the ghost painting underneath. Now on to the first layer of the skin tone.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I'll be working on this 14x18" oil portrait this week. This is "Sara". As usual, the underpainting looks ridiculously scary and strange. I'm recovering from a way too long fly day yesterday so I'm taking the whole day off to rest. I'm looking forward to jumping on this portrait tomorrow morning.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Off to Michigan

Leaving in an hour to head to Michigan for 10 days where we'll see our sweet friends Joe and Megan get married on Saturday. Today will be a l-o-n-g fly day. I'll update the blog on Tuesday.

And just for fun, here are a few shots of Michigan using a great application on my iphone that develops pictures a la the old "Polaroid Cameras". Much fun to play with when I'm bored.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Santa Fe Doors

I love doors and windows and the best place to live if you love doors is near Santa Fe. I admit it, I am obsessed with cool windows and doors. Today I'm going to bore you with plenty of beautiful doors in Santa Fe. Everyone seems to have these amazing doors on their homes, businesses or their yard gates. I hope you enjoy them. My husband is such a dear, he drives while I take pictures and will stop on a dime if I see something I want to snap. He's such a great partner in crime.

If you have about $800 to $1000 you could go to Jackalope in Santa Fe and buy an old door to incorporate into your house plan. By the way, if you're in Santa Fe and you don't go to Jackalope, shame on you! They have the most amazing things on about 2 acres or so of store space; new Mexican art, incredible tin work, chickens walking all over the place, it's fabulous. If you have the chance you have to go. I bought some fabulous thick-glass wine glasses there, hand blown...and have only broken 2 because truly, I am a clutz. And now they don't sell them anymore so I can't replace them! Later, I'll post some pictures of Jackalope so you can enjoy all the goodness.

I'll get back with the blog on Tuesday because I have a l-o-n-g fly day on Monday.

Just to get with the art, I spent hours sketching out 5 portraits on canvas today to take with me on the airplane to Michigan and then to Albuquerque. I'll have much to work on in the next month and a half.

Hope you all have a good Sunday!

New Mexico Sunsets and Sunrises

I'm traveling soon, all the way to Michigan, so I can't start any pieces that won't dry. So, no painting today. Instead, I'll upload some pretty sunrise/sunset pictures over the weekend.

Most of these are taken about 1 mile from my house on the West side of Albuquerque, overlooking the volcanoes, a few are taken coming back from Santa Fe or over in Los Cruces.
After our trip to Michigan, I'll be home in Albuquerque for quite awhile. I'll post some pics of my studio at that time. I travel a lot, way more than I'd like to.