Warm Sky Over Hilltop

Frank Lloyd Wright designed many of his homes with small, confined entrances.  His intention was to create a sense of release; a feeling of freedom when a guest left the foyer to enter the adjoining room that boasted high ceilings, open space for many, large windows and an impression of grandeur.  Once leaving the entrance there is no question that you have walked into something special.  The first time I walked the Grand Forest West, I of course appreciated the greens, the tall creaking Pacific Northwest trees, and the shade that only those surroundings can provide, but unexpectedly reaching Hilltop's wide open field gave me that same sense of freedom, and I felt like I had stumbled upon a treasure.  It's the surprise, the "Oh!", the cherry on-top of your walk.

This painting will be included in the Bainbridge Island Land Trust auction in July.


Southwestern Heroine

I'm very pleased to share that Southwestern Heroine has won a merit award! Thank you to Art Muse Contest for this honor!


Why Royal Hens?

If we can decipher whether or not a community is happy based on the lifestyle of its pets, then the chickens on Bainbridge Island indicate that its citizens are content beyond measure.  Chickens live cushy lives on this little island that I adore, which has one bridge, a few wineries, about 24,000 people and coffee sent from heaven at Hitchcock Deli.  Many of the feathered friends live in custom built coops designed to resemble their owners' home, some complete with a small chandelier and a couple of pieces of artwork to adorn the walls.  I have witnessed them being fed the Dungeness crab that didn't get finished at dinner, and free-range has a new meaning when you see two fluffy, caramel-colored hens strolling along the sidewalk towards the park near a local grocery store.  Chilly in the evening? Chicken sweaters.  Automatic chicken coop doors? They exist.  This is the life of a Royal Hen, and why not? Caring for another living thing so kindheartedly is rewarding, and in this case a reflection on how members of this community care for one another.

Good Egg

Just have to give a shout-out to Good Egg on Bainbridge Island for a spirited Instagram post full of praise for the Royal Hen!  Thank you!



My sister lives in a part of Arizona where the hummingbirds seem very comfortable mingling with us humans.  In the evenings when it cools off and we're sitting outside, they flutter around us to test our intentions, then move in for a closer look - I assume to examine our earrings and judge our choices in them.  It always feels like a very special visit.


Winslow Art Center

In the fall and spring, I teach a six-week painting course at Winslow Art Center on Bainbridge Island.  My next session will be starting soon on October 18th, so if you have always wanted to learn how to paint in oils or acrylics but aren't sure how to start, let me show you how in this foundations course.  The environment is positive and relaxed, and you'll leave the class with a clear understanding of how to create your next masterpiece!  Click here to be directed to the Art Center's website.

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 11.14.59 AM.png

Pike Place Market

I spent about an hour at Pike Place Market yesterday looking for flowers for new still life pieces, and made a definite spectacle of myself on the ferry ride home trying to keep too many bouquets and bunches upright.  There had to be thousands of daffodils and tulips, cherry blossoms and hyacinth to choose from - it's impossible not to leave there happy!


Some people write journal entries; I keep a recipe book... paint recipes.  This comes in very handy when I need color inspiration, or when I'm working on a larger piece and need to remember how to mix a certain color.  I'd love to be able to write that these formulas just stay in my head, but that rarely happens!

The Raw Umber Experiment

Lately I’ve been painting playful landscapes in heightened colors that are designed to help the viewer feel like they are in an environment completely void of anything serious.  Stepping into these scenes erases all responsibilities to bills, schedules, emails, and people duties.  The brush strokes are largely unblended and the fine details have been omitted to give the eye a break.  We have enough figuring out to do – my hope is that everyone who takes the time to stare will leave the painting feeling light-hearted.

However, not every day is a bright, primary palette, and yesterday I decided to do a raw umber experiment.  Raw Umber, cool brown, or blah brown – they all mean the same thing and are a perfect way to dull the brilliance of any color you’ve mixed.

In this palette raw umber is the base for each color and I chose a simple reference image for the color study.  This photo was taken in California on the freeway to Monterey out the window of a moving twelve person van that included four kids.  No, I wasn’t driving:)   I’ve included the picture here.  It’s really amazing what paint can do to change a scene.  The result is a quieter, less bossy painting, and I'll definitely use this palette on a larger piece.

Back At It...

It has been two months since I've picked up a paintbrush, so this little study was to get me back in the swing of things, and it took a loooong time.  The move from Calgary to Bainbridge Island went surprisingly well - furniture showed up, car showed up, paints showed up, and they didn't leak all over the place.  We're back in business!  Waves of homesickness come and go, especially for the kids, but exploring and discovering has been the medicine.  Places like Bloedel Reserve and Fay Bainbridge Park are a painter's toy store - there is new inspiration everywhere.  It will be really easy to come up with a new series:)