Friday, September 27, 2013

My Mother in Law's 94th Birthday

Today is Renee Dertner's 94th birthday and we feel blessed that she is in our lives. Here are a few shots from her early days in Sweden with her husband and two children and the last one from last week when she was celebrating with our son Levi. We'll be heading out of town to celebrate with her, plus to visit my Mom and other friends, so wanted to shout out that you won't hear from me til next week. Our lives are crazy, but it's because we have to do all the memorable stuff, besides the tidbits of work that we manage to squeeze in too. Hope your lives are similarly full and blessed.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My End of Town

I did this little watercolor during the Mendocino Open Paint Out and love that this amazing scene is just steps from my house. I could pinch myself just about everyday when I have the time to zip out to the headlands and along the many paths leading to one glorious view after another. I did an oil of these vista just after this one, but I always like the immediacy of a watercolor and that you leave the white of the paper wherever there is a white shape in the composition. The term for that is 'negative painting' and it takes a bit of planning. I even painted the dark tree around the flagpole!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Planning the Maui Trip

Hey Y'All- In case you aren't on my email list or Facebook, I wanted to shout out about a coupla things. First of all, I have a newly refurbished website that can be viewed at I am so jazzed to have a site that I can manage MYSELF. Fine Art Studio Online has a great template for artists and though it's still been a learning curve, at least I didn't eat much pavement while I was riding it. 
Pictured is the lovely harbor at Lahaina, Maui, with the courthouse peeking out from behind the boats and trees. On the evening of December 7th of this year the new poster will be unveiled there and I'd love to extend an invitation. The Village Gallery on Dickenson Street will also host a hoopla on the evening of December 13th with the poster and a new batch of my local plein air paintings. Who knows, maybe some of you already have such plans in the works, or know someone that lives there and might want to attend!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Welcome to Mendocino

I'm in a "Less is More" kinda mode these days, meaning I am trying to tell my story with fewer details, colors and brush strokes. Trying to create larger and more dominant shapes, accompanied by smaller areas of detail and bits of contrast. It is not easy for someone that sees everything, even the fly on the windowsill from 100 feet away. This piece was done during the 'Quick Draw' segment of the Mendocino Open Paint Out and I may have posted it during the event. I rather like the big block of warm color and the narrow stripe of Main Street, all set off by the quiet sky and snippet of ocean. Hope you do too.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tunnel Reflections

Realizing just how tired I am after last week because I've only posted twice! My son has been in town, so the pace has been different because of that too. I did this little piece last week when the skies were gray but the temps were warm. I live within spitting distance of this spot but have only painted it twice in 27 years, crazy huh? People walk to the end of that arch and have their photos taken, but I am content to enjoy it from a safe distance..................

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fanciful Fog

You guessed it. Way too tired to do a new painting even though the weather is 100 times better now than last week at the Mendocino Open Paint Out. I had a fabulous time and though I didn't win an official prize I did sell the moonlight piece and small vineyard with garden. Some fun friends gave me the MAPSA award which stands for Most Art Per Space Allotted! I did 15 paintings during the 6 day event, the last one during the 2 hour 'Quick Draw' where each artist stayed within certain boundaries along Main Street. We were supposed to talk to passersby, but we weren't very talkative let me tell you. That was a dumb idea, putting us in harm's way like that, but each intruder figured it out when we reminded them that we were under the gun! I didn't win the People's Choice award for this piece but many votes were cast in my direction and I was thrilled at the turn out afterwards. The entire event was stupendous and I really look forward to taking part again next year. 

Welcome to Mendocino 9x12

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thursday Night & Friday Morning

Colombi's corner store in Ft. Bragg

Fanciful Fog 4x9 watercolor

Neon at Nightfall 11x14

Tunnel Reflections 6x8

Today was almost the end of the Paint Out, but the event culminates in a 2 hour "Quick Draw" tomorrow between 11 and 1. We turned in our favorite painting (I chose 'Happy Hour' with the help of friends and family) to be judged today and tomorrow's pieces will also be judged separately, with the awards being announced in the evening. It's been a great week, but I'm pretty stinkin' tired. A couple of the participants are going to Sonoma next week to do this all over again in that area. More power to 'em!  Here is my wall of 13 paintings, coincidentally displayed on September 13th. More news and at least one more photo to follow soon. Thanks for taking the time to check out all of these visuals and a few wacky words.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Last Night and This Morning

A Mendocino Morning 12x16

Happy Hour 8x16

My End of Town 8x11 watercolor

Working for my breakfast

The order of these photos is not correct as I did the two town paintings last evening and the breakfast one this morning, but the computer goofed up. It was a warm and wonderful evening last night after a fairly foggy first part of the day, so I made hay while the sun was shining. It was shining so brightly that I had to take shelter behind a shady tree, IF YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT ABOUT MENDOCINO! When it started out foggy again today, I remembered a scene that I've wanted to do for years which is breakfast on the porch at the MacCallum House with their spectacular view. It didn't matter that the skies were gray because the food was colorful enough and it sure was fun. My husband joined me and we bought 3 meals, 2 to eat and one to leave as a permanent prop throughout the session. Yes, crazy but oh so delightful.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More to See

Hi Y'All- Just touching base to say hi and let you in on what I've been up to since my last post. I've actually done 2 other paintings as well, but will share those soon! It's a downright crazy week and I feel like a painting machine, but it sure is fun. A really cool tidbit is that Macario Pascual is part of the Paint Out and he and I both show at the Village Gallery in Maui. He is a true master.  Fun coincidence and we're getting to know each other.
Heavenly Handley 16x20

Macario and Karen Pascual from Maui

Macario painting roses at Navarro Vineyards

Spot of Color 6x8

Sublime September 10x5

Tuesday's Moon 10x5

Monday, September 9, 2013

LOTS to See and Read

Harbor Haven Inspiration

Harbor Haven 11x14

Mendocino Sunspill Inspiration

Mendocino Sunspill 8x16

Here I am with Kathryn LeMieux 

Ok folks, here is this week's happening news. I am taking part in MOPO, or Mendocino Open Paint Out and today was the first day. I woke up earlier than usual and raced out to catch the sun as it began to spill into the Big River basin, lighting up the bluffs and hilltops on the south side of the village. It was truly spectacular, though my 'inspiration' photo doesn't reveal that fact. I worked feverishly because things change rapidly at that hour, but even more so because the fog came in. Rats. Decided to head north toward the Noyo Harbor and found a fun spot along the South Harbor where you can see my vantage point and completed painting. I enjoyed this slot with Kathryn LeMieux, my darling painter friend from Westport and I hope I get to share her painting as well one of these days. I am not certain that I will be posting the rest of the week, but had to let you in on at least a tidbit of this great event. The paintings will be for sale through the week at the Mendocino Art Center and each evening the artists will be hanging their work from that day. The end of the week culminates in a juried show where prizes are awarded for best painting and best 'Quick Draw', which is a 2 hour timed paint out along Main Street in Mendocino. You bet your boots I'll be whooped by Saturday afternoon, but I'll have lots to share! 
Ok, before that day comes, I wanted to also share that I entered these two images into the annual Lahaina Poster Contest and just found out on Friday night that I won first place!!!! The winner was 'Island Flora' which is a painting of Front Street at sunset bordered by many beautiful flowers of the Hawaiian Islands. Yahoo, I get to fly to Maui within the next few months to sign 1,000 posters and have a lovely getaway.......

Island Flora

Lahaina Majesty

Friday, September 6, 2013

Gazing North

There is the most amazing and haphazard stand of coastal pines on the property next door to us. I am intrigued by them daily as they reflect the various colors of sunlight throughout each day. Even in the fog, they are magnificent and I'm so happy that I get to look at them without having to tend them! Standing out on my deck as I did once before, I attempted to tame a few of them into a rectangular format with the lovely and lyrical blue ocean beyond, all set off by the golden fields of late summer. Thanks for touching base with me and for looking at my new website too! I've heard back from you that it's easy to navigate and has so much fun stuff to look at. Pass the word. It's easy to find at

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Key Ingredients

You probably remember me telling you about the class I taught in Ukiah and the photo I posted of my lovely group. In the long photo of all our paintings, this one was on the far end but now you can see it better! The whole experience was a barrel of fun and now I present you with my finished product. I've done a few tweaks to it since then and though it's larger than many pieces I've posted, I still wanted to include it with my other 'dailies'. I'm all about warm colors (living in the cool climate that I do) and the colorful things that crop up in any kitchen. A bit of trivia now, garlic is at the top of the list of items I'd chop and savor.......
Here's another exciting bit of news. My new website is up and running! It is easy to navigate and there's 
A LOT to see, so check it out at .
I've also noticed that my incoming posts don't look as good as the blog itself. You might want to log onto the blog now and then to see what workshops are coming up and other fun information that doesn't seem to come through otherwise. is that address. Bless you all!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Diggin' the Dahlias

The weather on the north coast has been amazingly hot and humid for about 3 weeks. All the locals are complaining 'to beat the band' as my grandma used to say, even though we have nothing to really complain about. Phil and Joan, our forever friends came to town and enjoyed all sorts of fabulous outdoor endeavors, including a visit to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. They came upon me as I was trying to capture the spectacular dahlia garden and 'shot' me without my knowing it. Here I am trying to tame the wild coastal pines while expressing the color of the blooms in all their glory.