Daily Paintings in 2016 ... Traveling Painter in 2017
oil, pastel, acrylic and who knows what else
it's all about art, what else is there?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Me & Bill Gates: Almost the Same Thing

Painting is on hold for a month as I'm firmly attached to my sewing machine. See, I have this obsession of making these mittens and selling them to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association. Read about it here. I've already sold 75 pair this year and have orders for at least 100 more. I've exceeded my goals and now to be honest - it's kind of a sewing frenzy.

Since the news of Bill Gates donating 50 Million to help find a cure for Alzheimer's ... I admit, I feel a little inferior. Like really small. But, I firmly believe if we all did just one tiny thing, that ripple effect will take over and each small act of kindness will make this world a better place. $50 million or $25.00 - it all adds up. I'd send Bill a pair but not sure of his address.

Contact me if you want to purchase some to benefit the Alzheimer's Association - we can pretend our contribution is as good as Mr. Gates. or

Batch #2 for the season

This group lined up ready to sew the cuffs

A custom order for someone that needed yellow fleece liner inside

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Week 34 Annisquam Lighthouse

I finally unpacked my paintings from my October trip to Gloucester, MA. I was gone 3 weeks, loved driving across the country and had a great time staying in various Air BnB's. I stayed with an Mennonite family in Lancaster, PA, an 1840's farmhouse in Connecticut (complete with bats in the barn) and a chic apartment over a flower shop in Iowa. I did a lot of sketches which I posted on instagram here.

I met many lovely people all along this trip which confirmed my view that people really are great everywhere. OK, except that guy in Florida with the hidden camera in his air BnB.  I didn't find any hidden cameras ... but then again I wasn't looking.

After returning from that trip, I repacked and headed to Canyonlands National Park with my husband. Being in a remote area of Utah with no internet or cell service is an experience everyone should try. I love the Needles district and there also happened to be a meteor shower that weekend - score!

Before you think I'm completely self centered and my happy world is all about traveling & painting - know that my heart breaks every time I see yet another news story about a mass shooting and it make me want to go to bed and pull the covers over my head and never, ever come out.
Instead, I remind myself how insignificant I am in the big picture of it all ... try and be a good person, love fully, have gratitude daily and give back as much as I can.

Annisquam Lighthouse - pastel 9x12

Painting on hold for November as I'm busy sewing. A HUGE thank you to my friends and family for purchasing them to benefit the Alzheimer's Association, and dragging around batches of 20-30 to sell to your friends. I've raised $2,000 already this year. Read about them here.
If you'd like some mittens for holiday gifts or want to bring a basket to your local bookclub, work or school - just let me know - Thanks so much everyone and have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Week 33 Local Color

I'm currently painting on Cape Ann in Massachusetts. Today I set up to paint a house off School Street. This one house had a beautiful magenta/purple door and trim and lovely flowers - purple. You know me, I couldn't resist. It was the color ... the purple lures me in every time.

As it turns out, I picked a great spot. First, I chatted with the guy in the building next to me, he talked about lobster fishing, told me about the guy whose house I was painting and recommended the best spot for a sub. Then another guy drove by named Jeff, we chatted for a bit and it turns out he is an artist with a gallery down the street. We stopped in to visit. Amazing artist, check out his work here.

Then Willie (whose house I was painting) came out - took a picture and off he went. Turns out he's Willie Alexander, a musician who was in the Velvet Underground and wikipedia tells me he has a checkered past - I just liked his house.

After packing up, another guy parked next to my friend Stacey (painting down the road) and said - want some tomatoes? We said OK and got some tomatoes out of his car. I've been painting here for 4 days and have met so many colorful characters - all friendly and helping us find amazing painting spots.

I LOVE Cape Ann.
It has the friendliest people I have ever met ... and the best local color in every way.

Willie's House

Jeff Weaver's studio space in his gallery
beautifully covered in paint

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Week 32 An Orange Kind of Month

The aspen trees seem to be turning earlier this year, I probably said that last year too. I've been painting aspen trees all week and had the pleasure of some fellow artists to keep me company.

Everyone dutifully wore orange as it's hunting season and we are surrounded by, and painting on, National Forest and BLM land. There was a little incident last year that made me paranoid and you could read about it here. Today, I headed towards Fraser and found this amazing group of trees on County Road 50. I wasn't the only one enthralled, every car driving by stopped to take a photo.

County Road 50
pastel 12x18

Artists with the heaviest backpacks ever
Cheryl wins! Sort of ...

(This from a few weeks ago)
Backpacker Lori on left -5 lbs.
 Painter on right 25 lbs."at least"
This is why we sometimes paint out of the back of our cars

 A favorite spot in RMNP - have painted here for the last 3 years
Requires a 30 minute uphill hike and 10 minutes of scrambling over boulders
with the cumbersome pack - but so worth it

Smart painters wearing orange!

Debby ... in orange!
Robyn - orange shirt under the jacket

laura gets to paint too! She's there ...

Jennifer - in the middle of a field with a very big canvas

Safe from hunters in National Park, no orange needed
Cheryl, Robyn & Anita

Another perfect spot 

Lounging safely in RM National Park and he knows it

Apparently, he didn't wear orange - National Forest

Get out to see the Aspen if you can ... and wear orange just in case!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Week 31 Animal Kingdom

It's that time of year when I spend as much time in the mountains painting as I can. Indian summer. Perfect weather (except for the smoke currently surrounding us). Aspen leaves turning. All kinds of reasons to be here. I'm very lucky to live in Colorado and appreciate it every day.
So, we have a hare living around our property, I've seen him a couple times this summer. It's either a jackrabbit or a snowshoe hare. It's as big as a medium sized dog, not a little fluffy bunny, so a hare either way. Google teaches me a lot.

Sunflowers are everywhere and along every highway in town
next time you are frustrated with traffic try and look for the sunflowers

Indian Paintbrush still to be found in the high mountains

Fluffy fox

White tailed jackrabbit or snowshoe hare - I can't tell

Driving through open range means you encounter this type of traffic
He refused to move even as we slowly crept up on him with the car
I moo'd at her "Moooove"!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Week 30 Labor Day Driving Adventures

Labor Day weekend, a time when you shouldn't drive up I70 ... oh, about 3:30 pm on a Friday night. But I did. I rolled out of town late and paid the price by crawling up the highway with thousands of others headed to the cool mountains. In my continual practice of choosing to view the world as "glass half-full" I blasted the music and enjoyed the gorgeous sunflowers all along the highway - creeping along at 5-10 mph.

My husband and I adventured out to find some early aspen trees turning and ended up doing a little unintentional 4-wheeling. I took lots of photos because yeah, I'never going back down that road. When we finally popped out on a regular dirt road I'm pretty sure I saw a sign that said "off road vehicles only" - hmmm, no such sign at the other end.

Now that I'm safe and sound I could paint that 4 wheel drive road

We would have missed this stunning view high above the Colorado River
south of Hot Sulphur Springs

We saw no other cars on this road - good thing because it was too narrow and not many places to pass. But hey, we did see this old armchair out there. I would have sat in it for a photo but was sure a bunch of wild animals would have jumped out the back.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Week 29 Best Trade Ever

Today I hiked back up to Lake Isabelle since I only had time to do a sketch when I was here last weekend. The lake had been half drained since Sunday but the paintbrush were still showing off their colors. I brought along friends which made it exceptionally fun. We learn new vocabulary and laugh a whole lot.
I accidentally left the bug spray in the car and the mosquitos were vicious. The trail is very popular and eventually I planted myself in front of the next group hiking up and begged for some bug spray while offering up a trade of M&M's. Luckily, I'm not the only person out there who think chocolate and hiking really go together. A nice woman saved me from being eaten alive and received M&M's for payment. Great trade.

So, it's always nice chatting with people on the trail, you know you already have something wonderful in common, loving nature.

Last Chance Paintbrush at Lake Isabelle
9x12 oil