The early morning state park walk turned into an impromptu Wildflower Walk the other day. We walk about 4 miles per day and paddle the kayaks about 3 miles per day finishing before noon. A nice respite from the 100*+ heat at home with lake breezes to cool things down. Just a few shots here with my new Sony lens, FE 2.8/100 STF GM OSS, which is fast becoming a favorite.

Hope your summer is kicking off to a great beginning. Stay cool. Shoot your camera. Make some art. Save some time to sit on the dock with a glass of wine. . .


Rambling Thoughts on Changing Direction (Things you probably already know)

To coin a phrase used by a friend in her recent blog, “that invisible tap on the shoulder” comes along once in a while. You just need to be open to it. You have probably felt it. It may be what got you to where you are now. I find that when creating becomes stale and my enthusiasm takes a vacation, I listen for that tap on the shoulder. It might set me in a new direction or lead me down a different path. I can’t ignore it so I continue to explore. These departures along the way often give me new insight, a better outlook, new inspiration, and hopefully some new skills.

I suppose it is what we must do to keep things fresh and continue evolving in our art. I know it helps keep me motivated. It has to come from within not from any outside source. I’ve found that I learn best by finding my own path.

These ramblings were prompted by others asking me why I’m not creating digital art or teaching Corel Painter anymore. Big Questions!!  As co-founder of PhotoPaintWorks along with Marie Otero we have taught many students the ins and outs of Corel Painter and Photoshop. We have produced video tutorials, on-line classes, created digital brushes for Corel Painter’s own shop as well as ours, created paper textures, nozzles, paper libraries, flow map libraries, Photoshop tutorials, Photoshop brushes, design templates, free “how to” videos, held workshops throughout the United States and in Europe, and much more. In some regards I feel that I have “mastered” what I set out to do in Corel Painter.

So when that little tap on the shoulder came I felt it was time to (once again) mix things up a bit. It does not mean that I will not evolve back around to teaching in Corel Painter. Because, if I do, all the diversions taken will surely be an asset no matter the medium. Traditional paint? Digital paint? Does it matter?

For now I’m just on Creative Sabbatical. . .

Please share your thoughts.


Digital landscape at the top. Tradition oil landscape at the bottom.

The Kitchen Series continued after painting that first pear. I’m about ready to move on to other items ~ aren’t you glad?  I’ve painted in much looser styles but I’ve enjoyed the detail and blending in these small sized works. I’ve learned a lot about color mixing, which is one of those things that I could read about, but it didn’t seem to stick in my head unless I was actually mixing paint. Working this way really helped me to see in a new way, examining color more closely.

I’m working on cheap canvas boards because I like the portability. Because they are so inexpensive I’ve no problem throwing the complete duds away. Yes, I could wipe the paint off and re-gesso, but it’s messy so I don’t mind tossing a few out now and then. Hopefully I won’t be putting any more in the bin. And two of the works created this month have already been mailed out to new owners.

It’s a process. I think you will be able to recognize the images here, so scroll down and take a look.

As always, I appreciate you stopping by.


Time Away. Who doesn’t like a little time away from the ordinary? I prepared a few canvas boards to bring up here to the lake for a week of painting. A little solitary time with the oils and brushes. The above painting  is based on finding a fishing bobber in the sand. I picked it up and brought it back to the cabin and painted this for my brother. Because walking along the lake reminds me of my Dad, and thinking of my Dad reminds me of fishing, and thinking of fishing with my Dad reminds me of fishing with my brother when we were kids.

A calm sky and a lone boat in the sand ~ not what it looks like at Donner Lake, but I’ve yet to practice the pines that surround me.

Big glowing persimmon on a wooden crate ~ just because I wanted to see if I could paint it.

The most “realistic” pear I’ve ever painted. I kept wanting to add “digital speckles” but nope.

Key on a string ~ I have many of these vintage keys. My plan is to frame it with a wide wooden frame and drill holes along the bottom piece, adding small hooks to hang keys on at the cabin.

Blue Bowl ~ I feel like I got the reflections in the right places at least.

I have done a small series of landscapes digitally and thought I’d give it a go in oils. Eventually I hope to “branch out” with larger trees.

Lunch ~ I was told it looks like some sort of hat from Harry Potter (?) A small mosquito landed on the background and is still stuck in the oils. . . the perils of painting at the lake!

A simple cherry ~ while the oils were still wet, I moved the highlight to the left where it should be. Sometimes you cannot see the forest through the trees. This will be going to my sister-in-law, probably for her cabin in Northern Michigan where the cherries grow best.

And lastly, the stack of coffee cups inspired by all the stacks of coffee cups I’ve seen on Pinterest. I had painted this prior to coming to the lake, but decided to add the blue cup at the top. Why not? One more cup of coffee never hurts.

A week at the lake and I will return with 10 paintings. It’s a start. We will see where it goes. . . I really must think about going home now. I won’t be able to keep up the pace I’ve had here but the easel will be up and the brushes will be out.

Thank you for following along on the journey.




Landscapes seem to be my thing lately. I’m working with traditional oils and with Corel Painter for what seems to have turned into a series of landscapes. I’ve learned a great deal by continuing down this path and am hoping that I begin to branch out into other landscape compositions soon. They all seem to have a steady horizon line punctuated by tiny trees. Cattail Pond above ended up with a few tiny trees, too. But, I may just embrace the straight horizons and little trees, why stress it? Here, the foreground was not working as well as I’d like so it was quickly decided to add the pond. Why not? It’s only pixel pushing.

Folsom Lake ~ Corel Painter ~ from a blank canvas

Between Seasons ~ Corel Painter ~ from a blank canvas

Stormy Skies ~ Corel Painter ~ from a blank canvas

Summer Field ~ Corel Painter ~ from a blank canvas

Field of Poppies ~ Corel Painter ~ from a blank canvas

Follow the River ~ Corel Painter ~ from a blank canvas

An Early Snow ~ Corel Painter ~ from a blank canvas

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you are enjoying a lovely Spring.