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.






I’ve been painting pears, looking at pears, really getting to know them. I can’t even begin to explain it. But pears have occupied my painterly efforts lately and it has been enjoyable having them in the studio. I look at them in the light, I look at the shadows they make, I stand them up, I lay them down. Occasionally I even eat one.

With these two painted images, above, please be impressed (if only just a little) that I have their faint shadow painted on the background. Go ahead, scroll back up and look at those nice shadows! Yes, I’ve probably obsessed just a bit about pears.

Painting the backgrounds has been just as entertaining as the pears, themselves. We’ll see how much farther this goes after a couple more days.

Warmer weather is beginning to hit giving us plenty of sunshine with all things blooming in wild abandon. Still a few snow flurries in the mountains and still some snow hanging around up there, but I’m already thinking ahead to when the kayaks come out. Hope your day includes a spring breeze, some sunshine, and perhaps even a pear.

Thanks for stopping by . . .


  • April 2, 2017 - 8:09 pm

    Lisa Gordon - These are absolutely beautiful, Karen!ReplyCancel

    • April 11, 2017 - 11:35 pm

      pwbykb - Thank you Lisa Gordon ~ my comments are not working well on my blog, my apologiesReplyCancel

Working away on new things, always testing, pushing, and learning. And why not? If I always work the way I’ve worked I’ll always have the same outcome. This artwork was created from imagination. No underlying photograph and no reference photo. It is titled An Early Snow. Which is kind of funny because the snows have really hit hard this winter. In January alone there has been 20 feet of snow in the Tahoe/Donner area. This just astounds me given the drought we have been in for so many years. I really do not mind the rain here in the “flats” and tomorrow I’ll find out just what it is like up in the mountains. It’s time to start digging out, shoveling, clearing the deck. The shoreline in this image was inspired by Donner Lake even if the snow is currently much deeper than illustrated here.

I’m at a point where I’m jumping off a bit and testing out what I know, or more accurately what I think I know. I always come back to Corel Painter, my favorite painting software for many reasons. But I have been on a few detours the past year working in real media, wet paints, chalk pastels, oils, and more. I really should have done this a long time ago because I can see how much it has helped. Now when I sit down and open Corel Painter I have a much better feel for what the digital brushes will do when used on a digital canvas. So, I’ll keep pushing forward even though I will probably take a few more detours this year.

Follow The River. I used a photo reference which means that the photo reference sits off to the side and is used as a mental guide. This allows you to make all the decisions ~ the composition, choosing colors, and much more. Very freeing and very frustrating at the same time. Some days it flows really well and other days I cannot paint anything worth saving. The digital trash can needs to be emptied frequently!

Baby Orchard was created with chalk pastels. It helped me understand how the chalks blend and sit on the textured paper. Now I can work with these ideas and concepts digitally.

Row of Trees (catchy title, right?) was created digitally using the same principles of chalk pastels. Again, this one was created from imagination ~ no photos were involved. I begin by filling the empty digital canvas with a color. The first brush strokes are to determine the horizon line. After that the ideas either come or they don’t.

Geraniums was painted in oils. Real, wet oils. Having experienced this groundwork I feel much better about tackling oils digitally.

Plums in the Orchard is digital oils. The classes helped me to better understand not only how the paints mix but how to apply them and how to use the brush strokes to advantage. And this has led me to creating more brushes to use in Corel Painter.

The Yellow Dress was painted in oils applied with a palette knife.  The entire image was done with one palette knife. But now, should I use a digital palette knife I will know what the surface should look like. I had a reference image for this one and I remember swearing a lot while working on it.

None of this has been easy for me. I really wanted my work to improve and stepping outside the box is never a bad idea. I am a life-long learner and hope to always keep learning.

And while I have your attention here (ha!) what is the big deal about painting with textures in Corel Painter lately? I have always painted with textures and used textures in my work. Just sayin’. All this texture stuff is not new to me.

Wherever you are on your journey think about where you want to go, where you want to be. Then decide what steps you might want to take to get there. I think you will enjoy the detours you set up for yourself.

And if you read all of my ramblings here, I sincerely thank you!




The new year presented an opportunity to travel to St. George, Utah, visiting Mike and Lynn Burns at their amazing place at The Inn at Entrada. Grand views and vistas galore! I had one very happy camera. The first afternoon gave us excellent skies to accompany the landscape. This is an area where a wide angle lens is just not wide enough to capture the open spaces of the high desert in winter.

The weather was cold, but not uncomfortable for hiking. Above, the view at the area in Zion which led to The Narrows. The skies were grey and offset the colors of the bluffs. Snow at higher elevations, but nothing to keep us from doing a bit of exploring. It will be great to return here some time and do more hiking.

A short hike near Kayenta Canyon Trail, we chose to hike down in the dry creek bed. I thought it would be clay and stick to my boots, but the orange dirt is sandy just like beach sand. The creek bed is littered with rocks of all sizes and could be an ankle-turner unless you watch where you are going. Way up ahead, farther than I hiked, is a slot canyon where the light shines down into a slot. I have seen pictures and images of slot canyons which intrigue me, so I do hope to see them for myself some day.

This was my first shot entering into Snow Canyon. It was very late afternoon and the clouds were amazing. I love the light on these magnificent bluffs.

Snow Canyon is named after early Mormon settlers Lorenzo and Erastus Snow. It was designated as a Utah State Park in 1958.

Two canyons, West Canyon and Snow Canyon, begin side-by-side at the north gouging deeply into the sandstone of the Red Mountains, each canyon then running southward, slowly converging then finally meeting in the middle of the park.

Layer after layer, this image is from Snow Canyon. Again, the clouds were perfect for the late afternoon shooting.

Steps heading down to the creek bed near Weeping Rock Trail Head.

Small Stream in front of these bluffs, very easy walking. There is a foot path that runs along this stream.

Coming out of Snow Canyon, just as the sun was setting ~

The view of Snow Canyon right outside Mike and Lynn Burns’ home at The Inn at Entrada ~ many thanks for a few days of visiting, hiking, and shooting.

Perhaps a great destination for PhotoPaintWork ~ who wants to join us? There are many short, easy hikes in flat areas, some only a mile that you can drive right up to. Wouldn’t you like to point your camera at some of these vistas? Great roads to drive through the State Parks (Snow Canyon State Park and Zion State Park) with many pull offs and parking areas to wander a bit without any climbing. As our trip was short, we didn’t do much hiking. None of these images were difficult to get to.

The day we flew home it snowed in St. George, which is a rare occurrence. I think winter is a perfect time to be in the high desert ~ summers can be brutal.

Many more images to sort through, I was a bit trigger-happy.





A whole New Year waits for you, stretching out in front of you. Mine is ending in a wintery wonderland in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Since Fall comes late here and Spring comes early, time away in the snow is wonderful! I hope your year is ending on a good note and that the coming New Year will bring you and yours the best life has to offer. I can describe my 2016 with a few words: Luck, Randomness, Chaos, Choice, and Chance.  All good things, I think. I hope 2017 offers me more of the same. Of course, with a bit of Adventure tossed in for good measure.

A few images taken last week while at Donner Lake.

While I will be waiting for Spring, I’m in no hurry.

Stay warm. Stay dry. Sip something hot. Pull those boots on. Grab the mittens. Don’t forget your camera. And enjoy!