Almost daily painter, traveler and art lover
It's all about art, what else is there?
@lisahutart on instagram

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Day 300 Christmas in the Woods

Christmas morning this year gifted us with 2 moose sightings, a young male and a cow strolling through our yard. We also had a group of elk bedded down next to the house the morning before, I missed that one but everyone else saw them.

I never have to wish for a white Christmas - there is guaranteed snow when the altitude is 8,500 feet in Grand County. Some years there is more snow than others, so far this year has been pretty mild. I took a photo of the house after dragging the trashcans down the driveway. The driveway felt like it was a mile long but actually it's only about 100 yards. Long enough when the wheels won't roll on the snow - and it's dark - and it's -3 below 0 outside.
I survived.
Then I went in the house and painted it.

Christmas in the Woods
5x7 pastel

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Day 299 Road

This could possibly be the least creative title I've come up with all year. This really pretty row of aspen are just up the road from me and I've painted them several times. I love watching them change, they are stunning in the fall and the trunks are shockingly bright in the winter when the sun hits them.

One thing you should try to do in a painting is have a clear concept or intention - is this about the trees or the road? Often, I just get lost painting and skip those steps that help an ok painting become a really good painting. Kind of "lazy painting" to be truthful. But I think that painting for fun is important too. There are times when you have to paint for a reason (for a show or a commissioned work) and work much harder to have a successful finished piece. This week - I'm painting for fun.

8x10 pastel

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Day 298 In Between

This morning I got up before the sunrise, but just after that pitch black night sky started to fade. Kind of in between night and day. The night sky is very dark right now - no city lights and the moon almost hidden. Right before the sun came up, the sky was this amazing blueish, deep purple gray color with a sliver of moon glowing. It was like a fleck of glitter stuck in the sky.

I haven't been painting or posting as much as I want and I miss it. Mostly because it makes me slow down and appreciate things. See things differently. This art journey has really turned into a gratitude journal I realized. Christmas is over, but we still have the New Year celebration and the kids in town, cooking, running around and just juggling life. Life hasn't gotten back to normal quite yet.
I feel sort of "in between". I had this great goal of painting every day for 2016 and I've posted 300 paintings (give me a couple more days). I've probably painted 400 but you won't see them all because really, some are just experiments gone very, very bad. So - I've reached my goal. What to do next year? How to continue this journey? How to analysis what went well and what should I change for 2017? Well, I'm for sure going to keep painting. And being grateful. The rest I'll let you know on January 1 ... after I go out to paint.

In Between
5x7 pastel

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Day 294-297 Lollipops

This was a fun little set of 4 canvas to paint. I think these are flowers but then the owls woke me up again today at 5 am. Hooting.
Now I can't get that commercial for tootsie pops out of my head, an owl asking how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?
This is what happens when you wake up so early, creativity swirling around in my brain with no where to go. Flowers. Lollipops. Swirling creativity. It is whatever you happen to see.

mixed media wrapped canvas 20x20 total size (10x10 each)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Day 293 Swept Away

I'm still thinking about those brutal dust storms from the 30's. It gets pretty windy around here - especially in the spring. At least I don't have to worry about getting buried in a foot of dirt. I'm trying hard to keep painting a priority in this busy month of December. It's easy to get swept up in all the activities, shopping, eating too many cookies, parties, decorating, eating more cookies, and preparations for having kids home again. So here's to NOT getting carried away in my own personal wind storm and keeping life manageable.

Swept Away
18x36 mixed media 1.5" wrapped canvas

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Day 292 Montana

I'm revisiting my photos and plein air studies from my Montana trip this summer. I liked the small painting that I did of these flowers so it only makes sense that I paint flowers on a day when it's finally snowing and really, really cold. Welcome winter, it took you long enough.

16x20 pastel

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Day 291 Nineteen

Here is how to paint plein air in 19 degree weather ...
- Blast the heater on high on the way there
- Load your palette with paint at home before you go
- Great other painters that show up enthusiastically
- Be happy you aren't standing in snow, 19 is nothing
- Paint fast
Really it wasn't bad at all, the sun was shining and there was no wind. If it was 40 and wind blowing I probably would have froze to death. Any temperature is bearable without wind. This is the stone house at Bear Creek Greenbelt in Lakewood.

oil 9x12

Monday, December 5, 2016

Day 290 Happiness, Painter, Love

I've been looking at this canvas for over a year. It's 4 feet by 4 feet. I want to get it painted and on my wall. It's intimidating. This is the first layer - I don't want the words to be so prominent, just peeking through. So there will be more layers.
I wanted to put in words what I feel when I paint, and I'm in the process of getting acupuncture from a traditionally trained Chinese doctor. Therefore - Happiness, Love, Painter.
I don't speak Chinese - so good old google helped me out. Then again, someone could be playing a trick and they are swear words. Who knows? I rely on google way too much.

Happiness, Painter, Love
48x48 Mixed Media

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Day 289 Barbed Wire

This weekend I watched a documentary on the Dust Bowl ... while decorating for Christmas.
I know, but there are only so many shows on Netflix and my main criteria is something to listen to while doing other stuff. I figured I'd learn something.
I learned that we destroyed our grasslands and unintentionally caused a horrible ecological disaster. Depressing. So I decided to google fun facts about barbed wire, because I really enjoyed doing this large painting with an old west feel.

- there is "kansapedia" - wikipedia type facts all about Kansas
- there were 800 barbed wire patents and perhaps 2,000 different types
- and there really are no fun facts about barbed wire

So, here is my daily painting. It's pretty large and has lots of details that you can't see in this photo. Giddy up ya'll.

Barbed Wire
36x36 Mixed Media

Friday, December 2, 2016

Day 288 Santa Hats

Today I had my MIM class at Windcrest. It's always a heartfelt hour or two, sometimes bittersweet or a little sad, but always inspiring. Today was a little different.
When I walked into our room the paints were all set up, Christmas music playing softly in the background and santa hats were carefully placed on each chair. There are always special touches from the staff but this one seemed extra special. I had a few minutes to sit and look around and wait for my peeps to come in. I could feel the love and caring in that room.

A typical art class - we ended up with a few beautiful paintings, a couple neat stories ... lots of encouragement, assurance and laughs. For me, an appreciation for all that I have.

So, all month when I start to feel irritated at the traffic, the Christmas rush, the I'm-too-busy and I-never have-enough-time stress (and especially the driver-in-a-hurry that almost ran me off the road just 1 hour later) I'm going to think of those fun Santa hats that made me smile all day.
This layer painting I now image has hidden messages of goodwill and cheer - red santa hats. If you don't see it, that's OK, because I do.

Santa Hats
20x20 acrylic

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Day 287 Evolve 1c

After taking a break from painting last week it felt really good to put away the cooking paraphernalia and get out the painting supplies. There is something oddly soothing about the creaking of the wood floors at the Art Students League. Every single thing is covered in paint spatters and after I dropped my palette knife for the 3rd time, I realized I didn't have to cringe worrying about carpet. I almost flung my brush down for fun.

This is the 3rd layer on this painting and it will get several more layers. I am starting to have a plan even though I'm not supposed to for another couple layers. The lesson is to paint intuitively, harder than it looks. Really.

Evolve 1c
24x30 mixed media

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Day 286 Grass is Not Green

My artist friends already know. Grass is not green. Well, this grass wasn't. I'm always fascinated by looking closely at nature and seeing how not green grass is, and how not blue the sky is either.
This field was full of all those beautiful fall colors, purple, teal, orange, red and even lavender. Ideal for using about 40 different pastels. I painted this in September but just had not gotten around to posting. I'm cleaning up the studio since I've lost a few paintings - it's certainly time. If you have been to my studio, I'm sure you understand how that is possible. OK, I'm cleaning because the kids are coming home for Thanksgiving and they need a place to sleep!
Here's to all art being found by December 31st.

Grass is Not Green
8x10 pastel

Day 285 Love Letter

A friend of mine had her first baby a couple of months ago and I wanted to paint something for her baby room. Her decor is beautiful grays with splashes of red - perfect for newborns.
I've been in absolute turmoil over it for months. It seemed like such a big task - only because nothing would be good enough. Art is so subjective and personal. I really wanted to paint a huge painting because how can you fit all that joy, love, anticipation, and wonder on something small? I wanted to paint a whole world on this canvas but I couldn't.

I have friends that are gifted in writing, their words roll effortlessly (it seems) of the joys of parenthood, the hopefulness we all have for their their futures, the happiness we feel. I find myself mute so only managed a few hidden messages in this painting, love and joy.
This is my love letter to Lucca.

Love Letter
10x20 acrylic

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Day 284 Evolve 1b

Here is the second "layer" on this large abstract that I'm working on in Karen Roehl's class. I only have 2 more classes then I will be teacher-less. I'd take classes forever if I had my way. I try to only take from instructors that I really like their work and know they have a good reputation as a teacher.

I've always loved school. I loved reading and art and would get lost in a book or drawing from my earliest memories. I'm especially fond of my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Cole who had us jump up and do jumping jacks every time we got too loud. Which was like every 20 minutes. He had it figured out. I also remember my 6th grade teacher delivering a book to my house that I won in a contest on the last day of school. Above and beyond, because we had a 45 minute bus ride to school. My favorite teacher was when I was a senior in high school, she gave me a scholarship to the art institute and changed the trajectory of my life. I was 18 years old and had no clue that you could make a living as an artist. Like most 18 year olds, I was clueless about a lot of things.

So keep on teaching all you awesome teacher friends - you never know how positively you may be influencing a person!

Evolve 1b
24x30 mixed media

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Day 282 and 283 Closed for the Season

This morning PAAC painted at DeKoevend Park. When this was planned we assumed we would be standing on cardboard, in the snow on November 15th. But, we stood in 75 degree weather instead. The restrooms had a sign "Closed for the Season" but the park certainly wasn't. Moms, kids, joggers, bikers, dog walkers - it was a hopping spot for a Tuesday morning.

Day 282 Closed for the Season
8x10 pastel

Day 283 Closed for the Season II
8x10 pastel

My only complaint - when you drop an orange pastel under the easel
there is no hope of finding it.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Day 281 Not Following the Rules

This watercolor was done during an advanced training class with the Alzheimer's Association on painting techniques that we can teach our memory impaired artists.
I think the beginning directions were to draw boxes across the watercolor paper and then try each technique in a box. This way you could see what was happening and reference it later. I was a bad student, maybe was talking and missed the first part but when I looked up and saw everyone else painting neatly in boxes ... whoops. I'm normally a good student but I was channeling my other art class and I wanted to layer and layer and layer.

Apologies to our wonderful art consultant, Susie, whom I have high regard for. It's so weird, I am a rule follower in every single way except when it comes to art. Something to ponder.

Not following the Rules
9x12 watercolor

Day 280 Glow

This was painted from the road along Lake Granby during my September painting frenzy. I remember watching the sun change, the clouds come and go, and just trying to capture that beautiful glow. So far, I've remembered everything I've painted this year, and it's a lot. Many of my aspen paintings look pretty similar so occasionally it takes a few minutes. Then the memory of standing in that place comes flooding back and that has been the best part of this painting journey. Observation. Making myself slow down and just see. Sorry for the glare on the photo but I'm comfy in bed and not getting up to reshoot it.

8x10 oil

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Day 279 12x12 Red Sky

Sunset over Granby, probably about my 20th time painting it. After much little contemplation, too much texture. I see some things to fix. Maybe I should have worn glasses.
I glanced at my FB page the other day and noted that someone was concerned that I was a friend. I went through several thoughts, is this a new emoji? Did I do something wrong? What exactly was concerning? Then I put my glasses on and realized that they confirmed my friend request. Good grief, three little letters, such different meaning. sigh.

Red Sky
12x12 oil

Day 278 Squirrel Party

This is a copy of a painting by Brian Rutenberg. I love his abstract work and this was another exercise done in class. I'm sure it was to show how difficult copying artwork is, especially when it appears abstract or simple.
On a completely unrelated note (I tried to find a common thread and couldn't) the squirrels have been hoarding pine cones in our woodshed up in the mountains. It's a pretty comfortable place in the winter for them, luxurious even. Maybe they got bored last year ... but this year we found a large stash of mushrooms. They were carefully placed in a special spot away from the cones, to dry. Are they saving them for desert? Christmas? A random squirrel rave on a Friday night? How many squirrels actually live in that woodshed in the winter? So many questions.

We wouldn't want to be the ones to ruin their good time so we carefully placed the mushrooms back in their special spot. Hope I don't find cast off glow sticks, red cups or candy wrappers come spring.

Squirrel Party
24x12 acrylic on canvas

Look at that big bite the squirrel took out of the mushroom

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Day 276 and Day 277 Exercising

I love exercises, and homework. These 2 abstracts were done very quickly as an exercise in Karen Roehl's class. Working quickly and shutting off your logical brain and tapping into your spontaneous/creative side is one of the goals. When you have 10 minutes or 5 minutes to do a painting - it forces you to work quickly and intuitively. In case you misunderstood my first sentence, I love painting exercises, not actual exercises. Now if I could do physical exercises in 5 or 10 minutes and it would do any good, that might be a different story.

Exercising 276
9x12 acrylic on canvas paper

Exercising 277
9x12 acrylic on canvas paper

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Day 275 Ghostly Cottonwoods

The cottonwoods weren't spooky but just located at Ghost Ranch. This spot was at the beginning of the Box Canyon Hiking Trail. I painted it last month when I was at Ghost Ranch with my friend Jeanne. I started painting aspen at the beginning of September and painted cottonwoods through October. Two full months of fall painting, and it's still beautiful out!
I have lots of photos; cottonwoods, cactus, sky, adobe buildings ... you name it, to paint from this trip. I will never, ever get everything painted that I want to. I've struggled with all kinds of things this year - but never inspiration. My to do list of paintings is very, very long still.

Ghostly Cottonwoods
pastel 8x10

Day 274 Window View #4

There goes the leaves from my view. This was from my studio window again, and the leaves have gone from brilliant to dull ... to on the ground. Next painting I'm sure will be all gray.
Wonder why I've not been posting consistently? I'm out of control. Overbooked, too busy, same old story we all live.
Also, my email has not been working since november 1st. It's crippling. I spent 2 hours last night at the Apple "Genius Bar" and left with no functioning email still. They should call it We-Know-More-Than-You-But-Still-Not-Enough-To-Fix-Your-Shit-Bar. Genius my ass. I'm one week away from going back to a Dell.
No fears, I still receive emails but have no hope of responding anytime soon. So if you contacted me, and have been ignored, that's why. Really.

Window View #4
pastel 8x10

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Day 273 A Good Day

Yesterday, I painted with my friend Anita in downtown Littleton. Love this little yellow house that always has a red truck in front of it, but I resisted the urge to try and paint too much in 3 hours. Then I had a nice lunch with some other friends, sewed more wool mittens for Alzheimer's Association and then on to my first acupuncture session. Painting everyday, hauling a 25 lb. backpack, hunching over a sewing machine ... there's a price. The Dr. also did cupping - it looks like I was hijacked by aliens and they did weird experiments on my body. No photo, that would be TMI.
Anyway, I did all the things I love; being creative, connecting with friends and working on better health. It was a good day.

A Good Day
pastel 8x10

Day 272 Evolve 1A

I mentioned yesterday that I'm in a class with Karen Roehl at ASLD. One exercise we are doing is layering a painting. For six weeks we will add another layer on the same painting and watch it evolve. So, here is layer 1a. Don't get attached - you probably won't see any of this base design once it's done.
My goals for 2017 include lots of drawing, continuing to paint plein air but also exploring the world of abstract. I have no idea where my work will take me and there's magic in that.

Evolve 1A
24x30 mixed media

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Day 268-271 Blue Doors

OK, so this may feel like cheating but I'm making up the rules and it ain't. My goal for 2016 was to paint every day. I have with an exception here and there. Sometimes I paint all day and have 3-5 paintings. But, not all of them are viewable. I "tweaked" my goal to end up with 366 paintings. Since I am behind by about 40 paintings you are getting some groupings wether you like it or not. Did I mention I am making up the rules on this?

So, when I was in New Mexico painting a few weeks ago I was obsessed over all the blue doors on the adobe buildings. I tried painting them. It didn't work out. More than once. When I got home I made some cards representing those really cool (pun intended) blue doors with all those lovely tan/clay colors. Here are a couple of the cards that I made.

Blue Doors - Series of Cards
ink & watercolor on watercolor paper - various sizes

Day 267 November Geraniums at the ASLD

Today I started a class at the Art Student's League of Denver with Karen Roehl. I really love her paintings and am excited to take an abstract class from her for the next 6 weeks. Look at her beautiful artwork at

When I left I noticed the geraniums still looked great on the front steps and knew I wanted to paint that next. Next, as in 30 minutes since I was headed over to my afternoon class at PHAC with Aimee Deneweth. I snapped a quick picture with my phone. Actually, I juggled a wet 24x30 canvas, my purse, 2 bags of supplies and then my phone. I took the picture and didn't drop anything, yay!

In case that isn't enough I am finishing a class on Mondays with Cliff Austin. Can you spell
C-R-A-Z-Y? I haven't signed up for any classes next year, which is probably a good thing.

November Geraniums at the ASLD
Mixed Media - acrylic, graphite, india ink 11x14

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Day 266 Reynolds Landing

Today was a PAAC day and I got to paint with a couple watercolor artists at Reynolds Landing. It's fun to watch other artists, especially working in a medium I'm not that experienced in. If I didn't have 50 other things on the art to do list, I'd start painting in watercolor more too.
I also saw Ted Garcia who has been out everyday for something like 5 years? I'm impressed and tired just thinking about the next 60 days for me. I have high hopes to finish the 366 paintings I set out to do this year and then think about the holidays and all it entails. Notice that my title says Day 266 so I have 100 to go. I'm behind from the summer move and travels. You are likely going to see some smaller works coming up.

But for now, I'm painting bigger.
There might be some amazing artistic reason for that, hmmm.
Or it might be that I have frames in 11x14 size and I'm just getting a little tired of the 9x12's. Either way it's working for me. Go big or go home I say.

Reynolds Landing
11x14 pastel

Monday, October 31, 2016

Day 265 Biking the Highline

Here's the Highline Canal from last weekend, just west of the Flyin' B. It was early in the morning and the light was low and so very pretty. What a beautiful spot to walk, bike, paint and enjoy the rustling leaves. I'm wondering how I can block off even more time to get outside and paint, it never seems I have enough. I've certainly enjoyed the unseasonably warm October. I have a few fixes to do on this painting, will repost after I touch it up.

Biking the Highline
11x14 pastel

Day 264 Window View #3

Self explanatory, yes? Those leaves are coming down quickly.
I spent yesterday framing and packaging up art. For over 8 hours and I'm maybe halfway done. I had a couple friends come over on Friday to look at art and was embarrassed that they had to shuffle through piles in boxes, under tables, on tables and scattered just everywhere. Oils and pastels all mixed up, and many pastel paintings not protected under plastic or glass.
A least the oil paintings were dry.
So, time to get all that work organized, protected, priced and easier to go through.
Next time someone comes over I won't have to feel bad that they are leaving with little multi-colored pastel smears on various parts of their body. A look I'm pretty used to ... but you may not be.

Window View #3
8x10 pastel

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Day 263 Bike, Paint, Bike

Today was an awesome day. I have a new plein air setup. It's not an easel, pochade box, backpack or even new paint. It's a bike! I rode my several decades old mountain bike this morning and really wished I had a rack on the back for my paints, that it was 20 lbs. lighter, and that all the gears would work. It's listed as vintage online. I've been resistant to getting back on a bike but once I realized it could involve painting, I changed my mind. I can do that. My husband couldn't get me to the bike shop fast enough.
Other things I don't really want to do, but would, if it included painting:
-riding in a hot air balloon, I could paint there
-jury duty, I could sketch
-going to outer space - wouldn't that be fun?
So now I'm the proud owner of a new hybrid bike and this afternoon I headed up Waterton Canyon. I carried a small box of pastels, paper and my small REI folding chair. After riding several miles and dodging 5 male big horn sheep - I found a great spot to paint the South Platte River. I'm excited to get to more spots to paint and now also hoping for a light snow year.

Bike, Paint, Bike
pastel 5x7

Most excited about the bike rack and a perfect bag to fit my paints and pastels!

3 of the 5 Big Horn Sheep we saw hanging out in Waterton Canyon

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Day 262 Window View #2

I painted this one last week from my studio window. I have quite a bit of art that I haven't posted because they just aren't quite finished. Maybe I'll spend the weekend in town for a change and get caught up in the studio and be more consistent on posting? Then again, it's so pretty outside maybe I won't stay in until I have to ...

Window View #2
pastel 8x10

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Day 261 No Takers

It's pretty darn warm here for October. Not complaining. I forgot to mention that the humidity in Utah was something like negative 50 on my weekend hike. Temperature was in the 70's but felt very hot. The crows were silently circling above us. Hopeful, I image, that I might trip and provide a nice meal for them to pick at before there was time for anyone to rescue me.

When I hike with my girlfriends we talk the whole time - whether they like it or not. When I hike with my husband, he's pretty quiet so I have to entertain myself.
I occasionally imagine dramatic headlines like "Woman, eaten by crows after tripping AGAIN"
or " Fluke death of 50 something year old woman hiking a trail she had no business being on".
That kind of stuff.
Anyhoo - the crows went unfed and I got back to the picnic table to paint this teepee. It was available to rent for $35 a night. It was 2 camp spots away and I'm pretty sure the salamanders had easier access to the teepee than my tent. Sooo ... I'll stick with my tent thank-you-very-much.

No Takers
pastel 5x7

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Day 260 Needles Hike

I hiked last weekend through Lost Canyon in the Needles district of Canyonlands NP. It was a 9 mile loop hike, we opted for the Squaw Canyon trail on the way back.
See, I tried this hike with my friend Lori earlier in the year and I choked a mile in. I couldn't get up the nerve to traverse that slick rock. I had a panic attack. Voices were telling me I would certainly die if I tried to cross that section of rock. I then watched several hikers pass me and walk easily across. While chatting. But it was too late, I was frozen.
Fear is what keeps us alive. You need to have the right amount, don't cross a street when cars are coming ... but not so much that you never go near the street again, right?
Looking back, it was the right choice at the time. The hike had many spots with even worse exposure. Lori would have had to drag me or send back search and rescue.
This time, I was mentally prepared. I knew I needed to conquer this particular hike. My boots were working, no slipping or tripping. Also, once you go so far you kinda have no choice but to keep going to get back to the car. The car never looked so good.
It's been a year of immense personal growth for me - painting, conquering fears, striving for balance. Not falling on my ass in more ways than one. Being mentally prepared and trusting my own judgement.
This painting is a view of the Needles in the distance from our campground, just outside the park entrance. To you it's just a painting, but to me so much more.

Needles Hike
pastel 9x12

Scary exposure but stunning views make it worthwhile!

Day 259 Campground Host

On camping last weekend ... I was pretty happy for our last chance spot in the Canyonlands. Not normally a place that we would have picked but it worked out just fine. No trees, and only one small bush next to our fire pit with a big hole near it. And a lizard that lived in it.
This guy was waiting for us, he watched me unpack. I called him Henry. It's less scary when you have a name, right? All I could think was if this dude ends up in my sleeping bag I will scream as I've never screamed before. We made a deal that I would tolerate him hanging out, and darting around constantly as long as he did not enter the tent.
I got used to him (and several of his friends) and painted this little bush along with the hole that our smallest "campground host" lived in.
If I think about it too long I can't believe I didn't sleep in the car. Did I mention the sign on the bathroom door asking to keep the doors shut to keep out the snakes and mice? Now that I wrote all that and think more about it, I may never camp again.

Campground Host
pastel 5x7

Monday, October 24, 2016

Day 258 Elephant Hill

I just got back from a long weekend in Canyonlands National Park in Utah. We headed down to the Needles area to camp, hike, bike and paint. We learned the hard way that you can't really show up on a Friday afternoon at 4 pm and expect there to be available camp spots in the park - especially when it's fall break. Whoops. We snagged the last spot outside the park in a private campground, otherwise it was going to be dispersed camping on BLM land.
I'm kinda tough, but I need amenities ...

This little painting was done in the parking lot near Elephant Hill while I was balanced on a tiny camp chair. My pastels lined up nicely on the cars running board. See, I forgot my tripod. Dang. I had hoped with experience I'd quit forgetting stuff. Ed also forgot his tripod, for the camera ... maybe just to make me feel better? So, I still painted, we hiked, he biked and it all worked out. Colorado is still my favorite place in the world but Utah runs a close second.

Elephant Hill
5x7 pastel

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Day 257 Window View #1

These cottonwoods are right outside my studio window. I love the new studio, the widow is big, it faces east and has fantastic light. I've wanted to study a single scene and paint it during the changing seasons. So here is my first attempt because how easy is that to just head to the studio and look out the window and paint? I've stared at these trees lots (when I'm home) and look forward to some winter landscapes next. This is also home to more than one owl, they have been very vocal the last few weeks. I wonder if they will hang out here all winter? I'll keep you posted.

Window View #1
pastel 9x12

Monday, October 17, 2016

Day 256 Three Times A Charm

I walked with a friend in the Park Hill neighborhood today. The sound of the crunching leaves and watching the wind blow them off the trees is really lovely. The color. Mmmm. I hope I can appreciate the snow season when it comes.
Yes, I've painted this one a couple other times - always trying to say something else with my brush. I'll get there. Take the time to watch and listen to the leaves even if you don't paint them. So much better than TV, right?

Three Times A Charm
24x24 oil

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Day 255 The Casita 87510

This is the home I stayed in at Abiquiu, NM last week. Dictionary definition of casita:
1. A small crude dwelling forming part of a shantytown inhabited by Mexican laborers in the southwestern US.
2. A luxurious bungalow serving as private guest accommodations at a resort hotel especially in the southwestern US or Mexico.

I was hoping for #2. I'm happy to report it was the perfect combination of the two - small (not crude) old historic building (among the locals) that had been upgraded and was quite comfortable.

The owner sent directions with several maps including an aerial view. I barely glanced at the directions and thought, I'll just put the address in google maps. Ha. They must have something against addresses in New Mexico because everything I tried to put in maps wouldn't come up. Even Bode's the local store. When I googled several addresses I got "close to" or "near 84" as an address. Huh.
Thankfully, I had another artist with me to help navigate through the small town of Abiquiu. The road was pretty rutted and if it was raining hard I'm sure I would have slid back down the hill.

Abiquiu does have a zip code -- so next time I head down, and I will -- I'm headed to 87510.

The Casita - 87510
pastel 5x7

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day 254 Ghost Ranch View

I just got back from a short painting trip to Georgia O'keeffe country. I stayed in Abiquiu, NM within walking distance of Georgia O'Keeffe's house in a little casita and visited Ghost Ranch. So, I was painting in front of the visitor center, when this bug appeared inches from my hand. I let out a little (maybe medium sized?) scream then flicked him off the easel with my roll of paper towels.

I looked behind me to a crowd of people staring at me with concern. Like a couple dozen ... because a tour was about to start. whoops. I sheepishly said "it was a bug, it's OK, just a bug ..."
I glance back over my shoulder after a few minutes and feel the judgement.
I defensively blurted out "It was a really, really big bug." That bug was big enough to carry my canvas off to his bug-house for decoration.
They still looked at me like "seriously?"
I mumble to myself about how big it was and that it startled me ...
I know, I'm in New Mexico, I'm OUTSIDE - there are bugs. I think I've screamed over a salamander in South Carolina, an inchworm in Montana, a curious moose in Colorado and now this monstrous thing crawling across my paintbox in New Mexico. If you think painting plein air is easy ... it ain't!

Imagine my surprise as I reach down for a touch more orange on my brush

Didn't I tell you he was monstrous? This is a regular roll of paper towels.
Love nature - hate bugs.
I'm working on not screaming when I get startled.