Monday, September 30, 2013

Day Thirty: Corrales Church

In thanksgiving to all of you, I have posted a church today.  I am thankful for your support.    The Corrales Church is solid adobe, the walls probably are two feet thick.  It is cool in the summer and warms up in the winter.  I love the light and shadow on the church.

STAYED TUNED as tomorrow is the drawing for the free Little Gem...the winner chooses!

Please stay tuned to my blog as I am a daily painter and will continue to post a couple times a week.  You will definitely want to hear and see Norway at Christmas time...coming to you from the Arctic Region, the Russian and Swedish borders.  

THANK YOU Leslie Saeta for setting up the challenge!

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Corrales Church
Little Gem 6x8
oil on museum board

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day Twenty-Nine : Santa Fe Adobe VII SOLD

"Santa Fe Adobe VII"
Little Gem 6x6
oil on museum board
This is lovely Santa Fe in spring...trees blossoming in white, lilacs in rich magenta and lavender tones, irises in purple, all with a Santa Fe typical gate and a wall.  The tones in this painting are bright and uplifting.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day Twenty-Eight: In Pink

In PInk
Little Gem
6x8 oil on museum board
Love painting...even every day.   Most of the time it is relaxing but today I really put effort into following Julie Ford Oliver's fracturing technique and painting was a struggle.  I am not sure this is finished or how successful I was with the fracturing.

I have painted many, many flowers in my career but this month of the challenge I concentrated on NM.  Hibiscus do well here too!

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Day Twenty-Seven "Sunflower Field" SOLD

Sunflower Field
Little Gem
6x8 oil on museum board

The sunflowers have put out a lot of seed for the geese we expect to arrive very soon from the north.  Many of the sunflowers are wild, but this is field very near the Alemada Wetland I painted earlier so I think it was probably planted for the birds and wildlife.

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Wind on the bike trail today; I am struggling.  Head down, body near prone, forearms and hands crisscrossed on handle bars.  I have seen every kind of bicyclist or runner with a protective baby or dog stroller, but I have to buck this wind on my own.  Now what is this contraption coming down the trail?  A what?  An ELF?  Yes, that is my bike parked while SHE rides free out of the wind.  And if that is too tough, SHE turns on the solar driven motor for some or all assist to pedaling.  What will I next find on this bike trail?

ELF  for Electric, Light, Fun

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day Twenty Six: Warm Light on the Mountains SOLD

Warm Light on the Mountains
Little Gem
6x8 oil on museum board
Not today, but I stood in this area and painted plein air a few Septembers ago.  Painting this scene outdoors was very difficult because the desert seemed forbidding and harsh.  In reality it is, because plants must survive drought, wind, and heat.  The beauty was in the mountains.

So back in the studio, I let the painting rest...yes, for two years.  Today I painted the Little Gem, working from the larger plein air painting and a photograph but just for a while.  Then I turned to my imagination and just painted.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day Twenty Five: "Santa Fe Adobe VI"

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days, five days to go and I haven't faltered.  I had a few wipe-outs and had to double my efforts in the following days.

I took this photo in early spring in Santa Fe several years ago.  I didn't know how to paint it back then.  Years of regular painting and growth in my abilities had to happen first.  I'm not there yet; I know that. So even after the thirty day challenge is over I will continue to paint most days, not everyday.  I'll blog too, but not every day.  Time to kick back a little tiny bit, take some workshops and travel more.

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Santa Fe Adobe in Spring
Little Gem
6x8 oil on museum board

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day Twenty Four: Desert Monsoon Season

"Desert Monsoon Season"
Little Gem
6x8 oil on canvas mounted
Six to go dear fans...did you hear...only six to go!

Obviously lots of prayers and wishes got answered this year as the rains came and came.  We are caught up for this year, but remain way down when adding in the previous years of drought.  So our water table remains too low.

It isn't very often I see storm clouds like this and it also isn't very often that it takes three weeks for a painting to dry.

This is our bosque area looking east to the Sandia mountains, part of the Rocky Mountain System.  Albuquerque's average elevation is 5000 feet.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day Twenty-Two: "Clouds Lifting"

Lifting Clouds
Little Gem
6x8 oil on canvas mounted
Can you believe I am within eight days of finishing the challenge.  I know I can do it now!

The state fair ends today here in Albuquerque and I am curious how the attendance has been.  We've had some rain during the fair, and desert people stay away from the fair when it rains.

But as you can see in my painting the clouds lift, and often the sun is out during the day.  The sorghum field is no longer bright yellow.

Sometimes I struggle with a painting; not this one.  There is more brushwork in this painting than palette knife, but both were used.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day Twenty One of Thirty Day Challenge: "Abandoned Arbor" SOLD

Abandoned Arbor
Little Gem
8x6 oil on mounted canvas
Oh, the neglect I found here...I wonder what the story is behind letting this go.  But I can't ask because I have been like Wee Willie Winkle running through neighborhood, peeping over walls, through gate slats, and fallen fence rails.  I keep my bike by my side for a handy get away.

Truly this setting was perfect for a painting.  It reminds me of a book I loved in my childhood about a secret garden.  Don't you agree this is mysterious?

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Day Twenty: In the Weeds

In the Weeds
Little Gem
6x6 oil on canvas mounted
Closing in the end of the cool is that.

I hope you read my story in yesterday's blog about finally finding these little flowers down the embankment of the bike trail.  It's a wonder I kept the bike upright coming to a stop-right-now.  (And to think I am going skiing in Norway at Christmas time, I think I am an inch away from hurting myself...but stayed tuned...)

I love these delicate little flowers so much, yet hardy enough to withstand our recent rains, I chose to paint them up close and personal.  I hope you like this painting!

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day Nineteen: The Fairest of them All SOLD


   The rain has let up and I am back on the bike worrying whether or not the rain has destroyed these tiny white and rose flowers.  I saw them several days back, but where.  My bike ride is ten miles in length,  five miles each way.  I feel as though I must find these little flowers today.  It is my last chance.  I have finished with about two-thirds of my ride and I haven't seen them...until...suddenly there they are!  I applied my bike brakes so hard, I left an eight foot skid mark on the black top of the bike trail.  I scrambled down this wet muddy bank...and now you see the result.

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The Fairest of Them All
Little Gem
6x8 oil on canvas mounted

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day Eighteen: "Courtyard Gate with Trumpet Vine" SOLD

Courtyard Gate with Trumpet Vine
Little Gem
8x6 oil on canvas mounted
I love reading everyone else's blogs about the progress they are making in the thirty day challenge.  Do you agree it has improved our painting skills?

Trumpet vines with pods are everywhere most of the summer.  The plant is pretty, it is messy, and it spreads.  Eventually the trunk can be the size of a small tree.  We love the plant in spite of its minuses.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day Seventeen: Hollyhocks and Blue Gate SOLD

Hollyhocks and Blue Gate
Little Gem
6x8 canvas on board mounted
Prowling in my little neighborhood subdivision...riding my bike instead of walking....snapping photographs of people's plants, gates, walls, and doors.  I have found plenty of painting material on my street alone.  As usual there is inventing....this gate was a different color, the stucco was a very light PINK and the hollyhocks were roses.
Well, at least today I didn't move any trees!

I had a struggle with this painting initially because I originally did paint the stucco light pink.  It took me a while to figure out the painting needed to be warmer!

To purchase or bid on this painting, click here.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day Fifteen: Alemada Wetland II SOLD

Alemeda Wetland II
Little Gem
6x8 oil on canvas mounted
To see into this wetland, one must go into a "duck blind" so no wildlife is disturbed.  Besides ducks, geese, and cranes that winter in Albuquerque, there are mammals in this wetland.  There are two Canada Geese enjoying the wetland on this day, though no other geese have yet arrived from the north (September).

I really loved painting the two wetland scenes and sharing them as I know most people have no idea the desert southwest has this...and right in my city of Albuquerque.

It has been raining cats and dogs in Albuquerque for several days now.  I am so grateful I got photos of the flowering desert plants as I expect, when I can next get on my bike, that the blossoms have all been knocked off.  Maybe not; desert plants are a hardy lot!

To purchase or bid on this painting, click here.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day Fourteen: Alemada Wetland I SOLD

Alemada Wetland I
Little Gem
6x8 oil on canvas, mounted 
Because the flight path for migrating birds follows the Rio Grande Valley, there are several wetlands in New Mexico.  Alemada Wetland I is painted facing the sun, therefore the trees and in cool green.  On Day fifteen of the challenge, Alemada Wetland II is facing away from the sun, therefore I the trees have sunlight on them. These painting side by side are really terrific.

Today is Day Fourteen of the thirty day challenge...a challenge it is.  Can I take a break soon?  Yes, in sixteen days!

To bid on or purchase this painting, click here.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Desert Plants in Bloom VI SOLD

Desert Plants in Bloom VI
Little Gem 6x8
oil on canvas mounted
DAY 13 of the thirty day challenge...closing in on the halfway mark...

Purple and green...desert colors?  Well, they must be as I am off to the side of the bike trail taking a photo.  Some riders don't understand what I am doing and most days somebody asks me if I am all right.  There are walkers on the trail with cameras.  They understand the beauty of the desert.

I would love to know the names of these desert plants so I could tell you.  When I did a google search, I got names, scientific and otherwise, but no photos.   Now how is that supposed to help me?

I find myself rarely using a brush anymore.  Almost all of my thirty paintings are palette knife paintings.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sorghum Harvest

Sorghum Harvest
Little Gem
6x8 oil on canvas, mounted
DAY TWELVE of the thirty day challenge

When I arrive at this point on my almost daily bicycle journey, I see a field of yellow sorghum nearly ready for harvest.  Here in the city of Albuquerque we have open spaces, some of which are part of the state park system.  The crop in this field is rotated yearly and is feed only for birds migrating from the north who winter in New Mexico.  We have Canada Geese, Sandhills Cranes, Snow Geese and others.

The scraggly trees are Cottonwoods, native to the bosque area of the river.   The trees are old and no longer regenerate by themselves because the river is dammed and doesn't flood anymore. They are now being replanted...just stick a live twig in the sand near the river, and than twig is soon a tree.

To purchase or bid on the auction, click here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Desert Plants in Bloom V SOLD

Day Eleven of the Thirty Day challenge, 9/11 and Happy Birthday to my only child!

Out on the Paseo del Bosque bike trail again, riding hard, trying to build up leg muscles in anticipation of a Christmas ski trip to Norway with my soon to be 16 year old grandson.  There was a bit of coyote scat on the trail today; must have been a coyote party in the night.  Not long ago I saw the coyote parents heading into the heavy brush adjacent to the river.  The cubs were left alone sunning in the open.

Today I had more stops than normal for photos.  I love the wide openness of these wild flowers.  Orange, really orange.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Day Ten of the thirty day painting challenge: Acequia Madre II, 6x8

For Acequia Madre I, I stood in this dry arroyo painting en plein air in the hot sun surrounded by desert plants and a vista extending sixty miles.   Painting outdoors is difficult as the earth spins, colors and shadows shift requiring touch ups at home.  Purists say my original cannot then be considered "en plein air".  Humbug.

  I loved the sold original so much, I decided to paint the scene again in the comfort of my studio changing it somewhat.  This is a favorite NM painting of mine.  

To bid or purchase this painting, click here.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Los Poblanos Garden

Day Nine of the Thirty Day Challenge:  This rather unkempt supposedly formal flower garden at Los Poblanos farms in Albuquerque is exquisitely beautiful.  There was so much to include in this garden, to me it just called to painted with a palette knife and no brush.  I love how it turned out, especially when I added a yellow sky.

To purchase click on the link under the photograph.

I wish you could join me tomorrow night at the New Mexico state fair.  I entered four paintings in the fine arts exhibit and got all four of them in.  What a blessing.  Then a few days ago I got a call to tell me to be at the fair at 4:30 on 9/10 as one of the paintings won an award.  I cannot wait to find out more about that.  If you cannot be there, I will share more about it on my blog.
Los Poblanos Garden
Little Gem
6x8 oil on canvas mounted

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Desert Plants in Bloom IV

Desert Plants in Bloom IV
Little Gem
oil on canvas, mounted
DAY EIGHT of the thirty day challenge and all is well.   My daily bike rides provide me with so much material for painting but fall is (maybe) in the air and I notice flowers on the native plants are less fresh.  This plant is called Apache Plume because the flowers look like plumes.  The Apache part I am not so sure of.  We love the plant even in our own yards.

Sunday on the bike trail is a mash-up: in-line skaters, walkers, runners, bicycles and today there was a 35 mile bike event.

To purchase, click on the link under the photograph.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Desert Plants in Bloom II

Desert Plants in Bloom II
Little Gem
Oil on canvas, mounted

Day Seven of the Thirty Day Challenge:

Out on the Paseo del Bosque bike trail again today, good thing I talked with a gorgeous gentleman (yes, I am married) because I had a battle with this painting.  I kept getting mud when the yellow paint of the flowers mixed with the purple background.  Scrape, scrape, scrape.  Finally I thinly laid in the purple back ground to quick dry; then I was successful in painting the remainder of the plant.  I love the background as well...

I don't know the names of the hundreds of native wild desert plants along the ditches and river bank of NM.  I wish I did.

By the way, the gentleman and I agreed that the best time of day was dawn.

To buy this painting, click on the link under the photograph.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Desert Plants in Bloom III
Little Gem
6x8, oil on canvas mounted
Day Six of the Thirty Day Challenge...

Another day on the bike trail soon after the sun was up.  There was more moisture in the air as it rained a tiny bit last night so I saw a rainbow in the sky during my ride.  Hot air balloons were up too with one silhouetted against the rainbow.  What a sight that was!

Today I rode in a different direction and found many more blooming desert plants at an inner city plant and wildlife preserve.  Living so near the Rio Grande and the bike trail is a blessing.

To purchase, click on the link under the photograph.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

DESERT PLANTS IN BLOOM I, Day five of thirty day challenge

Desert Plant in Bloom I
6x8 Little Gem
Oil on canvas, mounted
I love to ride my bike as I live near the Rio Grande River along which there is a wonderful bike trail.  I leave very early in the morning to get my exercise out of the way for the day so I can paint daily for the thirty day challenge.  Being out there so early, I see morning sun on the native desert plants with beautiful shadows.  

The beautiful native plants grow along side the levee bike trail.

Available for auction at the link under the photograph.

Taking my own photo with my iPhone

Hard to tell but the trail is a levee as well

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Santa Fe Adobe V, Day Four of Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge

Santa Fe Adobe V
6x8 oil on canvas, mounted

SANTA FE ADOBE V, oil on canvas, mounted on Masonite suitable for framing or display on a tabletop easel.  Day Four of the Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge

Isn't this organic natural wall interesting?  I would have liked to watch it being built.  This type of wall is very prevalent in Santa Fe, but walls are found around property throughout the state.  It may just be the style, but I was told they were built to keep out rattlesnakes.  I have lived in NM for 45 years and have never seen a rattlesnake.

The Russian Olive tree inside the wall is messy and thisrty.  It doesn't belong in the desert and is considered by some to be a nuisance.  Yet it is a very beautiful tree with an incredible fragrance in the spring.

To purchase, click on the click on the photo.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Santa Fe Adobe, Day Three of Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge

   Santa Fe Adobe II 6x8 oil on canvas, mounted on Masonite
     Day Three of Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge

Even though the elevation of Santa Fe is over 7000 feet which makes it somewhat cooler, it can get hot there as well.  It is a desert unless there is irrigation.  This painting is very typical of the architecture of the houses and walls.  On half the wall you can see the adobe blocks exposed...before the stucco fell off.

This was the second painting of this house; the first was done in plein air.  Hot, hot, hot and no shade.

To purchase, click on the link under the photograph.
Santa Fe Adobe II
6x8, oil on canvas, mounted on hardboard

Sunday, September 1, 2013


6x6 oil on canvas, mounted
"Garden Wall II"  is a window in the adobe wall of a neighbor down the block a bit. I love seeing all the colors reflected by sunlight and the plant.  Pushing color in this way is the 'impressionistic" way.

I am very excited about the thirty paintings in thirty days challenge; many thanks to Leslie Saeta for setting this up.   I am thinking positive thoughts only.