Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Optimists Plant Fruit Trees

I have planted fruiting gardens everywhere I have ever lived, being an incurable optimist.

Sometimes my plantings have been wildly successful, sometimes they have yielded a steady return of delightful ripe fruit. Only one was an outright failure and that was because it was a mislabeled graft of a particular grape I was interested in. So I encourage you to consider planting fruit for your future if you have even a tiny space. Growing Mason Bees increases yields mightily unless you live next to a bee hive.

Click here to find out more about this painting of an apple tree on Etsy.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Glorious Summer Above 5,000 Feet

Lush Mountain Meadows in Olympic National Park

My favorite times in the mountains have always been about 3 weeks after snow melt through September and January here in the Pacific Northwest. I lived for backpacking, climbing and skiing until a knee injury limited my mobility. Now I glory in the paved trails up on Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics that allow me to soak up a big dose of beauty. Thanks to the National Park Service! They are 100 years old this year.

Click here to see a larger image of this painting on Amazon Handmade.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Wonderful Summer Memories

Joyful!    !!!!!!!

A row of Lombardy Poplar trees makes my heart sing!

Yes, I know that multiple exclamation points look silly. However, that is what the Lombardy Poplars look like to me when planted in a row. I find that so appropriate, as even a single specimen of these trees attracts me and raises my spirits.

In the late winter, the buds smell delightful. In spring, the fountain of delicate green leaves are hopeful. In summer, they march along in a stout formation. In the fall, the leaves begin to turn golden and as they fall, a heady perfume wafts up from them. And of course, they are hard working as windbreaks year round and so often are found on the fence lines of fields.

You can find them in the Skagit Valley near Seattle and in many other farming locations. This row is on Lopez Island. I know of a few in Seattle city, usually planted as one or a pair for a vertical element in the landscape, but they are too large for the average lot.

Click Here to learn more about this painting on Etsy.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Mt. Rainier July 2015

Where have all the flowers gone?

White River and Mt. Rainier
I went to see the wildflowers on Mt Rainier mid July, a month earlier than usual, but they were long past their prime at Paradise Meadows. The blossoms I found were what I would expect in September, complete with ripe blueberries. Everything was 2 months early or more.

The view of the mountain from the South was almost unrecognizable as there was little ice and snow and extensive exposed rock. I have never seen it so barren and bleak.The streams were still flowing but much reduced in size. The ground was powder dry and I raised dust into the air as I walked.

I have not painted anything from this trip as yet, but here is a small painting of Mt Rainier done in oil paint on a 8" square of copper. The view is from the pass above the White River.

Visit My Etsy shop Oil Colors on Copper

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Natural Rock Garden

Photo of petite painting of an alpine rock garden in bloom.
My friend Karyl states that "Beauty begins at 5,000 feet." She is referring to the altitude in the Pacific Northwest Mountains where the trees are thinning out and and becoming Alpine versions of their lowland types. Here, rocks become more prominent and flower meadows replace the grassy meadows of the lower elevations.

After several trips to experience the mountain meadows last summer, I experimented with rendering them in watercolor, egg tempera and oil glazes to capture the shimmering color that I experienced. This petite painting is only 5 inches by 7 inches, but captures the experience.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Eccentric Blood Orange


I once took a bunch of cut up blood oranges to a local potluck. I thought folks would be overjoyed to have or try a rare treat in our part of the country.

What an error! Not a single person other than myself tried any. I know that these oranges really look different and even more so when cut open. But they are tasty.

Judging books by their cover, I guess.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Heart Made of Glass

Click Here to Bid on this Painting.

I was struck by the idea of a glass heart next to a piece of stone. If my heart is glass it could not just break, but shatter. The strawberry is also heart shaped, but not going to shatter. It will only dry up and shrivel if left here. So, since there are risks in both directions, why not go for it? As an artist, I know that I must take risks every time I start a painting or show a finished work to someone. Better the risk of shattering than the risk of shriveling I say!