Thursday, December 28, 2006

Girl with kitten, ACEO collage.

She's just cute, thats all there is to it. This was done like the other card. Some glue, some watercolor, some scissors....It was so relaxing to be putting these things together.

Victorian horse collage, ACEO.

Well, this is different! It sure was fun but I know nothing about collage, so I'm totally experimenting. I liked the strange colors. The horse was something I printed out that wasn't the correct colors because my printer was running out of ink. It's archival materials and inks and I hated it to go to waste. Got to save things from the dump you know. The rest was things I found laying around the house. The base is 140 pound watercolor paper which I layered with some flowers I found on a page from a magazine.

I then cut out these other flowers and put them around the horse. I did some watercolor and some acrylic painting over it all. Then I cut out another horse's head and pasted it on top of the first one. After that, I covered the whole thing with a couple layers of heavy gloss medium from Golden.

The feel of these cards, with all these layers on them is very "real". They have so much substance compared to a simple watercolor.

It seems the way it made me feel so happy to do this, I'll probably be making more....

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Our families are scattered and because many of them are very extended types of families, we spent the day together with no one else here. It seemed a little funny not to be cooking, opening presents, wondering what to do with volumes of wrapping paper and "things".

At first, I was a little sad, but as the time progressed for Christmas day to arrive, I began to be glad. It was the perfect time for me to think about the reason we have Christmas, it all began with Christ! It became a blessing for me to spend a quiet day, realizing how important He is to me and how thankful I am to know Him.

We've not had the perfect December. My grandmother passed away. Her death was expected as she'd had a stroke and lay in a coma for a week. The hardest time was just beginning. Our nephew, Curtis, who was 18, was killed in a horrible car crash. His life was just beginning and we thought so much of him. He spent a few days staying with us this last summer and we enjoyed him so much. He was happy, willing to help, full of plans for his future. In a few days time, we learned to love him. We hadn't known him before that.

It's said all the time that life is short and we have to make the most of what we have. This Christmas is for me, a time to give thanks and to learn to appreciate what the Lord has given us. I'm going to treasure my memories of my Nan and of Curtis.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Work in Progress, colored pencil, horse aceo.

This is the start of this painting, and I'm scared it might be the last. I got this bright idea to try colored pencils on my 140 pound hot press paper. In the first place, I haven't had my colored pencils out for a long time because I lost them. So I'm out of practise with the thought process I use on them. In the second place, there isn't enough tooth in my paper to layer very much. I'll keep plugging along just to see what will happen but I've got two or three layers on some places and it seems it's about all the paper wants to take. I'm going to try rubbing it down hard with paper towel and whatever else I can think of to get more layers on here.

I'm in between studios again. We bought a 14X70 mobile home and we're going to convert it to my studio. So I'm moving out of the other house. For the winter, I've moved back into the spare bedroom in this house we live in. Somehow in the middle of having three incomplete studios, I lost my colored pencils. I was determined today to find them so I spent some time looking. Guess what? They were under the desk at the other house. I don't know who put them there.

Spring will be exciting. I'll tear up the old orange shag carpet from the 14 wide, get down to bare particle board floors. Paint them with several coats of paint. Then move in my furniture and have a permanent studio.

I think the back bedroom will become my water media room. The front bedroom will become my oil painting room. The little bedroom will be for storing frames. Every cupboard and every closet will be full of the tools of my trade. Maybe I'll never lose my colored pencils again.

Now I have to get back to the problem of this painting.
As always, thank you for stopping by. I wish you the best of holidays!
My website of Montana animals and scenery.
My horse ACEO cards.
Original art, a most treasured gift.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Percheron's Eye, ACEO horse watercolor

This horse was one of the Priefert Team and I photographed him this last summer at the state fair. He had such a twinkle in his eye, like he had a great sense of humor. I really enjoyed trying to capture the look on his face.
Update on this painting. I really wanted to keep this for upcoming shows, but I couldn't resist. I listed it on ebay and it has a bid on it. So if you like this painting, and you want it in your collection, click the link to my ebay store and place your bid. I listed it last night so I think the auction has five or six days left on it.

A wonderful person bought two prints from my ebay store today also. That makes this a good day for an artist and I hope for her also. When I purchase ACEO cards from artists I admire, I get so excited, waiting for them to arrive.
Thanks for dropping by to see my paintings.
Montana art, the animals and scenery.
Horse aceo cards are easily purchased with paypal here.
Original art, a most treasured gift.

"The Percheron's Eye" is sold.

She's almost a Christmas cow. ACEO

I took a photo of this cow, near Dupuyer, Mt. I liked the way her green ear tag complemeted her red hide. I think she's a red angus cow. She was curious about something and I also liked the look on her face. It made me want to paint her. This is another aceo card on 300 lb Arches watercolor paper.

Buckskin Horse ACEO card watercolor

Buckskin horse done in watercolor. This is an ACEO card. I used my horse Class as a model for this painting. She's a bay but I changed her coloring. I love using her for a model because she's so pretty.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Square Butte on Yupo paper.

Another painting of Square Butte. I put a little farm in this one. Nice little farm house with a great big shop. Isn't that the way it goes on a farm? :)

This is another aceo card. Only 3.5x2.5 inches in size. I like the way the paint slides around and does it's own thing on this Yupo paper. It gives this particular painting a soft look.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Landscape, Square Butte, Vaughn, MT

We live below Square Butte, the butte of Charlie Russell fame. It's always changing, it never looks the same two days or two minutes in a row. I love the way the light plays across it's surface. I decided the other day I need to make more paintings of this wonderful landscape. So here's the first!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


2006 has been a successful year for me as far as my artwork has gone. It's the first year in a long time I've sold so many paintings and got so many paintings finished. There are two major reasons this has happened. My desire to do it, and my spouses desire to have me do it! Robert's very supportive in three major areas. He doesn't expect me to work anywhere but on my art. He encourages, critiques, and physically helps me when I need it. He and I both like to work alone, so when I'm in the studio, he's happy to be working on his own projects, he doesn't need me to babysit him while I work and vice versa.

This year hasn't been easy as far as personal problems go. Robert has had his left shoulder replaced, his neck fused and his back fused. He has scars upon scars from all these surgeries. So you can guess a lot of our time was spent in the hospital, going to therapy and recuperating from being in the hospital. My grandmother passed away, my dad had his shoulder operated on. We went camping for several days with our kids. We got married. We bought a 14X70 trailer house for a new studio and got it hauled in here.

There have been many things going on to keep me from painting but at the same time, I've done nearly 200 paintings and sold most of them!

I tried painting en plein aire for the first time this year. I did some unique landscapes, some crazy experiments and bought some new mediums. Painted some animals other than horses, which is hard to believe. All in all, this was a great year!

Quick studies on Yupo paper.

When I'm practising my drawing, or playing around with paints and papers, I'll spend 10-20 minutes on some quick study work. Mostly, I try to get the shape of a horse on paper and I'm using my how to draw horses books for examples of different positions horses can be in.

These studies are drawn on Yupo paper and I used my watercolor brush to do the drawing. Yupo is plastic paper so it's a unique experience. It's slick and it's not absorbent. The paint sits on top of the paper. You can wipe it off after it dries and you don't even know there was a mark there.

It's perfect for loose flowing things like the mane on the top horse. You can also flow in the shape of a horse, then go back in and draw the details on top. If you do this, you stroke the lines on fast or you'll melt the layer beneath them. Nice thing is, if you put a line where you don't want it, just wet it and pick it back up again. Let the paper dry, then place the line where you want it to be.

I suppose you could wash the same piece of Yupo off and paint on it forever! It's fun stuff. I think I went to to find the paper and they sent me nice sample packs so I could try the paper before I bought some. It comes in different weights and it's all fun to paint on. The title to this post is a link to their American website.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Christmas Pony, aceo card.

Mom and dad went out and found a pony for a Christmas present, now he's worried his new mistress won't like him!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Updated Rooster.

I added some sky color to the rooster. It gave him some drama, more movement, more anger. I like him better now.

Mad Rooster, 5X7 watercolor painting.

I think I can add this guy to the silly animals collection.

When my kids were small, we had a mean rooster named, Duke Rooster. A trapper brought him to our house, and asked us if we'd keep him. This trapper had been tying Duke by one leg to a tree, using him as coyote bait. When the coyote came in to get the rooster, the trapper would shoot the coyote. This trapper said the rooster had fended off so many coyotes, so courageously, he began to feel sorry for the rooster and was looking for a good home for him so the rooster could live out his days in peace.

We took Duke Rooster in. Which was fine and good until Duke became the tyrant of the farm. The kids didn't dare go outside. He had spurs that would win in a Boone and Crocket spur contest. We carried a pitchfork with us everywhere we went and when Duke squatted down and spread his feathers for a charge, we'd pick him up with the pitchfork and hold him until he got out of the mood. With his feet through the tines on the pitchfork, he couldn't go anywhere and he'd eventually get over being mad.

Duke roosted at night on the corral rails. We think a hawk got him because one night, he disappeared. For a rooster, he lived quite a life.

My grandma is dying. She had a massive stroke last weekend. She wants to die, she refused all life support. Her throat is paralyzed and so is one side of her body. She never wanted to live to be as old as she is, she wanted to die when my grandpa died but that didn't happen. She's been in a place where she was cared for as she couldn't live alone for a few years now.

I guess I feel as mad as this rooster one minute and as sad as all get out the next. I wish she could peacefully go to be with the Lord in heaven. Who knew she would suffer this long without food or water? And knowing how she would hate to live with IV's and feeding tubes and not being able to move and being to old to recover, how can we wish her to live any longer? And how can we, as her family, not respect her wishes? Even after she had the stroke, she couldn't talk, if a nurse approached her with an iv or oxygen or suggested a feeding tube, she'd get so agitated. She jerked oxygen from her face, she doesn't want any of it. Talk about courage to the very last. She always told us, "Don't worry about me, I'm a tough old bird." It's true, she is.

But how I'm going to miss her presence on this earth. She's the one person who taught me it's ok to have fun in this life. You don't have to take yourself or the next guy seriously. Drink a beer, invite your friends in for a party, go fishing and whoop and holler! Cook a huge meal that almost founders your friends and family and enjoy every minute of it. Dance until dawn. Camp under the stars.

She hassled me every step of the way over my paintings. She rarely liked what I painted. To her, everything had to be "real". You couldn't paint just the eye of the horse. You had to paint the entire horse. Mountains had to look like they really are, you couldn't interpret the way you loved that mountain by adding your own colors and style. Yet she's the one who gave me my first set of oil paints and nudged, prodded and poked me to keep painting. She was an artist herself, like her mother was before her and like I am now.

When my son called me last night, he said, "Mom, how are you really?" The first words out of my mouth, "I'm a tough old bird, Johnnie, don't worry about me." They were her words and I said them without even thinking... her legacy lives on and she'll always be with me.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

Rocking horse, watercolor, work in progress.

Here's the finished image. I think maybe blogger was down when I tried to post earlier.


Here's the final version of the painting. It's possible I'll put a couple more touches on it, but it's pretty much finished.


Rocking Horse, Work in progress, watercolor.

This is a close up of the rear end of the horse.

Rocking Horse, WIP, Watercolor.

This painting is going through a lot of changes and each one seems dramatic enough to create another post for it. I think I'm pretty much finished with the background and the horse. Now to decide what to do with the rockers. I'm envisioning light blue washes to push some areas back and maybe another yellow wash to bring some forward. At this point, I've layered a very light transparent yellow and then Alizarin Crimson over it.

On the off legs, I outlined with green instead of bright red. I probably used cad red light to outline the horse. When I first transfered the drawing of the horse to this paper, I saw that red line around him. Don't ask me why, these things pop into my head and I have to get them out onto paper.

Rocking Horse, Work in Progress, watercolor.

I wanted a more velvety color of black than I was getting so I added a layer of cobalt blue and the paint was pretty thick. I didn't put the blue under the horse yet. I'm not sure if I will or not. I'll work on the horse some more to decide if I want to.

I'm now seeing this thin red line all around the horse. So here goes, that will be the next step. Then you wonder why artists want money for their paintings! So many layers, so much work...... to much thinking for my poor brain...ha. I'm joking. I do love what I do, but I still want to get paid for it. No different than a doctor who loves his job. donna