WYOMING WILD one of 8 finalists for Highwater Vodka label contest

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Jackson friends, please put FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 6 – 8 pm, on your calendar to come to a party and help me win this art competition 🙂 I am one of 8 finalists for the JH Stillworks Highwater Vodka label contest. The theme for the contest is “Wyoming” – reproduced on the label for a year. The 8 paintings will be on exhibit at the Voting Party at Jackson Hole Still Works (3940 S. Eagle Drive), and the the winner is chosen that night by popular vote – BE THERE! The original artwork will be auctioned off in September to raise funds for the JH Art Association. (There is an admission fee to the Voting Party, but HEY – FOOD and DRINK and ART!!!

Update:  Though my painting did not win the competition, I felt that the accomplishment was in being chosen by a qualified panel as one of the 8 finalists.  It was an honor.

My painting is titled Wyoming Wild  16 x 16  watercolor and gouache on silver shikishi board


Best of Show – Woohoo!!!

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May 31, 2017    Going to the mailbox yesterday was a fun surprise – I got a letter telling me that my painting “Three’s A Crowd” got BEST IN SHOW at the Wyoming Watercolor Society’s small works exhibition this month. Yippee!  (This piece is still available.  😉

from Inspiration to Execution

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Here are some examples of how I turn my inspiration into a finished painting.  Shown is the photo I took that eventually became the painting, below the photo.  My approach is to isolate what impresses and excites me the most, eliminate the extraneous, and create a dynamic composition.  As is my usual style, I accentuate shapes and colors.  As I state on the home page of my website, what I paint is the image you take away in your memory.  Often the title becomes a little play on words as well.

A raven taking off from a city fountain in Scottsdale, AZ becomes “Raven’s Spring

IMG_5660 Raven's spring


A soak in a hot tub in Carefree, AZ becomes a glowing sunset titled “Carefree”.  (Notice the toes in the photograph – I was extremely “carefree” at the moment.)

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The view while driving home from the grocery store becomes “Harbingers of Spring”  (The sandhill cranes are returning to Jackson Hole, which is a special time for us.)

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My Alter Ego in the Studio

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January 24, 2017  Wow, first post of the new year, and it is a big one.  It is a little scary – I am introducing my “alter ego” for the first time.  First let me tell you that I am NOT abandoning my splash and pour watercolors on shikishi boards.  I love painting them, they are close to my heart, they excite me still and I will always paint them.  BUT every artist experiments and pushes the envelope at some time.  Sometime these wanderings in the studio don’t make it to the light of day.  But I have been pursuing this additional direction for several years now and am very excited by it as well.  I have developed a solid recognizable style that I am now comfortable introducing.  let me warn you, however – it is abstract.  

What I call my “Natural Abstractions” are watercolor + wax works focus on amazingly colorful natural occurrences that scream for exploration/exploitation/abstraction in an artist’s studio – from the bizarre and beautiful hot springs of Yellowstone to the mysteries of stellar nebula or northern lights in our night skies. My artwork always has presented more of the essence of a subject, rather than a realistic representation and this series/medium does as well, but even more so. In fact, I mean for my viewer to participate in deciding what the subject actually is. As usual, vivid colors are my signature, though an occasional monochromatic piece can be just as impactful.

People are familiar with watercolor as a medium and perhaps even encaustic wax. But I have combined both of these media in my work to present an interesting dichotomy. Watercolor and wax shouldn’t even be able to mix, should they? However, each medium becomes obvious upon close inspection, and the view from farther away brings the suggested subject matter to light.  The pieces themselves are splash and poured watercolors on rice paper, infused with encaustic wax (molten beeswax) that makes the paper translucent, allowing me to fuse layers together to create depth of color.  You must investigate the new Encaustic descriptions and images under About the Artist and Portfolio, as well as three video snippets of the process in action under “What’s New”.  Let me know what you think! 


Watercolor + Wax



Tangerine Dreams and Marmalade Skies

The Artists Field Guide to Greater Yellowstone

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October 24, 2017  Why did I choose “Thermophylic Bacteria” as my painting subject, to be included in the upcoming book The Artists Field Guide to Greater Yellowstone?  Because it gave me the opportunity to paint more Yellowstone hot springs paintings, which I LOVE to do.  Now you ask, what in tarnation are Thermophylic Bacteria and why should I care??  Tiny microbes that can survive the acid and heat live in these pools, surviving at different temperatures creating the multitude of colors you see there.  They are considered the first inhabitants of our planet, and their discovery in recent science has enabled DNA fingerprinting, and medical diagnoses among other things.  Karen Reinhart is the author of the essay that my painting accompanies.  Check out the book (to be published in early spring of 2017): www.artistsfieldguide.com.

The slippery metallic surface of the shikishi board is perfect to showcase how watercolor blends and flows.  The addition of the textured “watercolor crystals” around the edges makes it very obvious (well, to me at least) that the painting is of a hot spring, with all of the wild colors and textures that make these natural features so popular.

The hot spring in Yellowstone where this was all first discovered is called the Mushroom Pool.  That is the pool that the painting below depicts:


Quick Draw and Auction at the Fall Arts Festival

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October 7, 2016  The Quick Draw and Auction at the Fall Arts Festival is now a memory.  Here are a few photos of the process, plus the auction itself.  I was pressed to finish in the allotted 90 minutes.The finished painting was titled “Teton Aurora”. I have seen northern lights twice in my life, and there was a display in Jackson Hole last year.  (How much time I had left determined how many stars I was able to reveal. Each star is created by a dot of water, scrub with a brush, remove the paint with a paper towel.  So to create the Milky Way would be a very time consuming process indeed.)  I have no problem having hundreds of people watch me paint and ask me questions, but I am really shy of getting up in front of those same people, with a microphone, to say a few words about my painting!

Finished just under 90 minutes:


Paintings lined up, waiting for their turn on the auction block:


The auction tent covers nearly a city block:


Teton Aurora:



Painting in Paradise

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August 29, 2016  I just spent two weeks in heaven.  The Darwin Ranch, the highest and most remote guest ranch in Wyoming, has been a vacation retreat for me and my husband every year since our honeymoon there 27 years ago.  Nothing “resets” our clocks like hiking, fishing and horseback riding in the mountains (the Gros Ventre mountains), AND I take my paints to sketch as well.  Though I hiked and rode many miles, and missed more trout than I caught, I did find time to create a series of small works, views of the Tetons with different sky backdrops.  This is how I determine what larger paintings I will paint – whichever small works strike my fancy become larger works.  Each of these became gifts for the terrific staff at the ranch.


Plein Air Fest at the National Museum of Wildlife Art

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July 27, 2016  I am a  bit tardy in adding a new post, which means I have been busy in the studio!  Last month I participated in my 5th Plein Air Fest at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, WY.  47 artists were invited to paint “plein air” style (in the open, outside, on location) a scene anywhere in the entire valley.  We finished up our paintings on the museum grounds with crowds watching and then they were all offered for silent auction, to benefit the museum’s educational programs.  I painted the Grand Teton from a view that not many people paint – from the south end of the valley (South Park) looking north.  Early summer is my favorite time for viewing the mountains because the valley is SO green, yet there is still snow up on the mountains.  Okay, I may have used my artistic license a teeny bit to add more snow than was there that actual day, for contrast. Here are a few images of my location and the final painting, Mountain View from Melody:


My “inner Joni Mitchell”

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June 13, 2016  Recently travel author Tim Cotroneo of Travel Dreams Magazine wrote an article about my recent trio of paintings that I have begun to call my “Joni Mitchell” series, and is now posted on Joni’s website and Travel Dreams Magazine website ( They weren’t conceived as a trio but when I began to name them, lyrics from Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock” came to me and seemed most appropriate for each painting.  And they do look nice altogether, having been painted all in the same week and with complimentary color palettes.  You can read the whole story here: http://jonimitchell.com/library/view.cfm?id=3266    How exciting, yes!?


DSC00991DSC01047The Silence of Sunset