The Artistic Expression of Plant Life

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New post, June 3, 2013  Last month I was asked to give a demo and power point presentation to the Native Plant Species Seminar for the Teton Conservation District here in Jackson, WY.  The topic for the presentation was “The Artistic Expression of Plant Life”, and the other presenter was Meredith Campbell, a local artist whose background is in botanical illustration.  Though she was a tough act to follow, with her beautifully rendered science oriented sketches and paintings (my paintings are about the “essence” of my subject, not exact representation) I thought it was fun to be a contrast and counterpoint.  I stressed the artistic expression part of the title and even showed my “Artistic License” as one of my power point images.  I explained that though the paintings and plants I showed may not be native here in Teton County, they must be native somewhere!  The example I am showing here is my interpretation of a beautiful photograph by Susan Marsh, herself an accomplished author, scientist, photographer and artist.  This is, in fact, a native Wyoming plant – the Iris Missourensis.

Iris Missouriensis, photo by Susan Marsh

Susan's Iris



Web Design by Paintscape Designs

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April 21, 2013   I want to thank Will Rauschenberger of Paintscape Designs for his wonderful re-design of my website.  I have asked him to design sites for me several times, and each time, with little initial input from me, he comes up with a design that works.  With some additional input about what I was hoping for, and a few tweaks, it is exactly what I had in mind: a clean and beautiful design that is easy on the eyes, uncomplicated, easy to navigate and leads people where I hope they will want to go.  Talk to him at 941.312.1034, email or visit  Thanks Will!

New Gallery Representation

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April 8, 2013, new post:  I am happy to announce that I am now also being represented by the Wilcock Gallery in Excelsior, Minnesota.  I am thrilled to be “back in my hometown”.  (Excelsior Commons was the sight of many a shenanigan in those ‘olden days’.)  I moved from Minneapolis 18 years ago (I can’t believe it has been that long) and for that time my friends, family and fans have really only been to see my work via website and email.  Now you all will have a chance to see the paintings up close and personal.  Please visit Keith Wilcock at his fine gallery at 218 Water Street, Excelsior, MN, 55331,  952-470-8118,  Here are the paintings you will find there this spring:

 The Eternal Optimist    (11″ x 10″)

Sky Light   (16″ x 12″)



Gilded Grove    (11″ x 10″)


New Work, New Classes

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January 23, 2013 new post: Check out the Exhibitions and Classes section.  I am beginning a 4 week session of Intro to Sumi-e Painting next week (Jan 28 – Feb 18), and a one day Gyotaku workshop in March too.

Earlier I shared with you some of my new explorations in Encaustic painting.  I have entered a piece in the Art Associations members show called “Salon”.  It is the first public exposure for one of my encaustics.  I love the piece but we will see what others think.  The entry is called “Akaka Falls”, from a photo I took when Paul and I visited Hawaii last year.  Here is a front view and from the side so you can see the dimensional quality a little.  It has layers of clear and tinted translucent wax on top of a p’o mo watercolor painting on a gold shikishi board.

akaka falls web

akaka falls web side view



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October 28, 2012, new post:    I was honored to have SPRING PLUM accepted into the national juried exhibit sponsored by the Sumi-e Society of America this year, held in Minneapolis area this past month.  The painting was a gift to my niece and her new husband, Brianna and Alejandro Montes, as a wedding present and Bri and Alex were present at the opening reception.  I hope it brings them many years of enjoyment, especially during the long cold winters of Minnesota.  Congratulations, Brianna and Alejandro.



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SEPTEMBER 6, 2012 Summer flew by, as is always the case here in Jackson Hole.  I actually look forward to our slower season here – which means more time in my studio to paint.  In the meantime there is one more month of intense activity here in Jackson – in the arts and outdoors. September finds Jackson hosting the “Fall Arts Festival” which begins tomorrow Friday, September 7th and runs through Sunday, September 16th.  Just about every arts venue has special events and exhibits, many of them include the whole town’s participation.  Here are a few links to an overview of what to do and experience:  and .
I will be painting in  the gallery where my work is represented – Horizon Fine Art (at 30 King Street in Jackson, 307-739-1540,, several times during the Fall Arts Festival:  Sunday, September 9th from 12 – 5, Friday Sept 14th from 4 – 8 and Saturday September 15th from 10 – 2.  I have several new paintings there as well.  I LOVE to talk with you all while I am painting – please come see me!!

Watercolor + Wax

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May 2012  Early summer (okay, end of May is not yet summer here in Jackson) I co-taught a class called Watercolor+Wax with renowned encaustic artist Daniella Woolf.  I taught my splash and pour watercolor technique as a basis for the students to build encaustic paintings on top of, using the multitude of techniques that Daniella shared.  The venue was the Art Association studios at the Center for the Arts in Jackson.  Results were colorful and creative, and no two similar.  It is my intention to pursue this in my own work, not “reinventing the wheel”, but using it in addition and on top of the watercolor style I have worked years to develop.  This is a piece I created called Boundary Waters Memory.  It is on a wood panel with watercolor poured on the background, a silk print of my sumi-e painting of the Boundary Waters, and an aspen leaf embedded in the wax and textures added:


Splash and Pour – Watercolor without the Fear

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Splash and Pour workshop June 2012 in Jackson

JUNE 19, 2012:  In May I taught an all day workshop for the Art Association here in Jackson Hole called “Splash and Pour – Watercolor without the Fear”.  And I mean it!  It is a non-threatening day to play with watercolor in a way you have never tried before (or to continue developing skills from previous experiences.)  People always exclaim that watercolor is so difficult.  Well, in a playful atmosphere it may still be difficult, but it is lots of fun.  Be prepared to come home with blue fingers, it can be messy.  Recently I had a client, who was watching me paint in Horizon Gallery, ask me how I knew what was going to happen.  And I replied “Experience”.  (Though in reality many times I turn an unexpected “splotch” into a happy accident.  Experience helps in that instance too.

More on the Watercolor+Wax week-long workshop that followed Splash and Pour in my next Musing.

Painting under Construction…

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March 3, 2012    Here are some photos of Monday Morning Breakfast Group being created:


Sketchbook and drawing

Sketchbook and drawing:  First comes the idea in the sketchbook and then an enlarged drawing to be transferred to the shikishi board later.



Background:  The background is painted first and is the most difficult part of the painting.  Colors are manipulated to flow and blend together, all at the same time.


color is removed behind the birds

Color is removed behind where I will paint the birds and cattails.


Birds being painted

Black watercolor flows into the space left for a red-winged blackbird.



One New Painting to Share

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January 25, 2012  My newest painting is Monday Morning Breakfast Group.  The title came first (my husband has breakfast with a bunch of guys every monday, and they call themselves that.)  But the idea was right there with the name.  You will see in the New and Available works that I first did a study, a smaller piece of the larger painting, to determine colors, positioning etc.  Normally my works are much more spontaneous.  This one required lots of planning.  The loose, watery background looks like it was the easy part, but no, it took 3 tries to get it right.  The details are oddly not as difficult. If I can figure out how to post photos in my blog, I will share the finished piece and the anatomy of the painting. (Click on the thumbnail to see the full painting.)