Saturday, December 30, 2023

Tranquility Wreath

Today's ink choice from the Diamine Inkvent Calendar is Tranquility, a lovely purple with golden green shimmer ink! It gets very dark in heavy application, and washes out to a warm pink in light areas.  I sketched a wreath that adorns my front room doors, thinking this ink would push a little more red.  I think this ink is a keeper when I'm looking for a warm violet on my ink palette. Painting number 4003 in 4003 days. 

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Cinnabun Bird

This sweet sparrow and many other birds frequent our feeders daily!  Choosing him for my muse was easy when I found Cinnabun ink behind the door in my Inkvent Calendar!  It is a warm ochre brown without sheen or shimmer, and is lovely for use in nature.  The glass dip pen I chose today (largely because it went well with my ink color) has a larger nib than most, leaving me wanting a finer nib for feather work and signing - especially on a miniature! Painting number 4002 in 4002 days. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Father Christmas in Copper

I've missed working the metal, and this time of year it calls me to it's side. Father Christmas is a perfect subject for the vintage feel of copper.  I'd planned to do several this season, but time grows short. Perhaps I'll have more time in January - one can only hope!  This miniature artwork is the 4001st in 4001 days.  Wowza! 

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Tinsel Santa

Oh what fun it is to paint Santa with glass pen and ink, and a little water for gradation! This Tinsel red ink is another from my Inkvent calendar - a rich, bold red shimmer ink that sparkles in the light!  It sure stirs up the magic of Christmas with each drop!  I have a collection of glass dip pens, and don't remember where this one came from - but it's tip is lovely and it holds plenty of ink for script. Can't wait to try all of Diamine's Inkvent Calendar inks, as I'm just a wee bit behind this year!  Painting number  4000 in 4000 days!  Could this be true?  I'll need to check my numbers because I've been at it for nearly 11 years daily, now! 

Monday, December 25, 2023

Sugar Snap Trees

It's fun to explore the inks of the Diamine Inkvent Calendar  - and this one is a lovely green called Sugar Snap.  The silver shimmer dances through the green to yellow color shifts beautifully! This painting is miniature - only 3.5x2.5 inches big!  Perfect for this busy Christmas holiday full of family!  Painting number 3999 in 3999 days. 

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Copper Nutcracker Santa

What fun it is to work metal for the holidays!  These absolutely shine on a Christmas tree - and I'm hoping to get several done in the next few days. I'm using one of our Santa Nutcrackers for inspiration, and work from the front and back until the form emerges.  These days are filled with family dinners and games nights - so I'm happy to get this squeezed in before midnight!  Artwork number 3998 in 3998 days. 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Christmas Tree in Copper

 I had visions of completing several metal work Christmas pieces this season, but here we are, just days left, and this is my first.  The time gets away from me when so many paintings are going out the door - and commissions, too. So, I'll try to get a few finished for those special few, and perhaps I'll work on these in the winter months.  Painting number 3996 in 3996 days. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Pine Cones

Today finds me painting a couple of pinecones adorning one of the front porch trees, ones that wet brought back from Estes Park.  Another of my Christmas card paintings, the calm and airy slice of nature soothes my soul as I paint.  My brother's family is in town and we've been playing cards and board games, and this is the perfect break between visits!  Painting number 3995 in 3995 days.  I'm happy to find blogger working tonight, I'll have to go in and edit the previous two nights to add info to them.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Three Cedars


We have some amazing cedars dotting the property, and I love painting them!  Nurturing many from tiny starts that I moved into perfect spots, I now paint them in their glory. My grandparents used to find one in the woods each year for their Christmas tree, and I remember the smell of them heavy in the farmhouse.  Again, I'm working on Christmas cards, and it looks like I'll be cutting it close now this year - again.  It's all good, the care and thought I put into each one is what matters, the love I send off in the mail.  Painting number 3992 in 3992 days. 

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Winter Cardinal

And Christmas card crunch time continues as I paint this one in my kitchen!  With ink and watercolor I sketch a little slice of my world, to send out to family with a holiday greeting.  I am simplifying my subject matter this Christmas, longing to settle down and enjoy the little things.  All of life is about the little things, and I want to make them count.  Painting number 3991 in 3991 days. 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Cardinal Wreath

As I finish this season's paintings, shipments and deliveries, I now turn to my Christmas card painting.  I choose a different theme each year, and this year I drifted between multiple themes, unable to choose!  With the early snow, I painted several in oil for my cards.  Then I painted those bold and bright ornaments - what a cheerful card those would make, and I painted several!  Santas in pen and ink?  Acrylic Union Station paintings?  As my workload started to wind down, I was drawn to a simpler, more peaceful reflection of the season.  I began to paint little slices of home in ink and watercolor.  This vintage wreath in one I found in Sedalia while antique shopping with my mom - and I loved the light and airy feel of it, almost like it is icy and glistening.  I love the process of capturing this, so therapeutic is the act during a busy season.  It brings the simple pleasures back into focus, and the anticipation of making new memories here with the family through the holidays.  I am truly blessed beyond measure. Painting number 3990 in 3990 days. 

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Night at Union Station

Union Station takes on a magical presence when visited at night.  As the crowds slacken,the very large tree dominates in this space, and it's reflection on the floor is stunning.  What a treat to get to capture this in oil on panel, and already I long to paint it large for my own wall.  This majestic place is steeped in history, and the history of so many families who come here each Christmas to make memories.  Painting number 3989 in 3989 days. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Pine Cones

I have always loved pine cones.  I can remember finding them on the ground as I walked to school, little treasures packed up tight.  To my amazement, they slowly opened up, revealing the seeds inside.  These cones came from a tree outside our cabin when staying in Estes Park, making them a perfect painting subject.  With ink I sketch the little cones, adding in some foliage for balance, then add in the watercolor.  I've so many cards to paint for Christmas, I hope I get them all done in time! Painting number 3988 in 3988 days. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Union Station Christmas

It is not really Christmas until I've painted at Union Station!  I love this tradition of capturing this grand place each year in oils, ink, watercolor and acrylic, at various times of day and night.  This place lights up on a sunny day like today, or glows like a thousand candles after nightfall, each creating a special mood all it's own.  I was set up by the front entrance doors for this one, and I LOVED the countless children who walked into this room and gasped!  Wonder, amazement and wide eyes stopped them in their tracks, as parents urged them forward.  One young child exclaimed, "I've been here before!" if remembering a dream.  I am filled with wonder and reverence each time I paint here, and get to experience Union Station anew. Painting number 3987 in 3987 days. 

Monday, December 11, 2023

Union Station Wreath

What a lovely afternoon to spend painting at Union Station!  I love those grand arched windows in their holiday attire - festive with the large wreath and red bow.  I've met artist friends here to paint, and finished two before heading out.  The restaurants were full and many families came to experience the Christmas magic here as I worked.  I'm so very thankful this place stands proudly as it did so many years ago.  We were so close to losing her when she was in disrepair.  My holiday is not complete until I paint Union Station!  Painting number 3986 in 3986 days. 

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Three Ornaments

This painting and local plein air work will be at the Holiday Open House at the Oliver Building Gallery tomorrow night in the historic West Bottoms from 6:00 to 9:00. What a wonderful way to celebrate the season!  I'll be featuring two paintings from the Inaugural Historic West Bottoms Plein Air Event in May as well as 4 holiday paintings, one of the Country Club Plaza, one of Union Station and another Christmas ornament painting.  It promises to be an evening full of good cheer with friends and local businesses.  Painting number 3985 in 3985 days. 

Saturday, December 9, 2023


What a lovely, peaceful evening to squeeze in a tiny painting in ink! We had a full day of family fun and board games, and it was a bit of a trick to get this accomplished! This is Diamine's 5th ink of their advent calendar, Nightfall, and is a rich deep blue that washes out towards turquoise. Additionally, it reaches a very dark value with heavy application. This blue could be lovely in a stormy skyscape!  I can hardly wait to see what comes next - and alas, I have so little extra time!  Painting number 3984 in 3984 days. 

Friday, December 8, 2023

Holiday Ornaments

After spending time with the Nolan, Quinn and Layne, I find a little time to paint before bedtime.  Oh what fun it is to paint these shiny, colorful ornaments!  This large bowl of balls waits on the back porch for little hands to adorn them, and hang them on our outdoor spruce.  I will help the little ones dip their hand into acrylic paint - and then grab the ornament, leaving a lasting impression of this year's Christmas handprint. I hope to paint these a few more times before I put them away in January!  Painting number 3983 in 3983 days 

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Masquerade Oak


What a cool and moody ink Masquerade is - from the Diamine Inkvent Calendar!  I love using it to pen this old pin oak tree! This ink has a lovely shimmer which must be seen in the light to appreciate.  Perhaps I'll take another photo in direct light to show the effects of this dramatic ink.  It gets very dark, too, which I love about any fountain pen ink. It moved with water very easily after other areas had dried, so this one must be watched when using near wet areas.  That very thing can be a real bonus in certain applications. Can't wait to see the next one!  Painting number 3982 in 3982 days. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Early Dusk


I love the chroma in this beautiful Early Dusk ink!  This is day 3 of the Diamine Inkvent Calendar! My very favorite advent calendar is this one, where I can open a door to ink possibilities every day until Christmas! This ink flows beautifully into a wet area, and separates to develop the chroma spread.  I painted this one down on the pond, looking beyond the tree line.  I love the tranquility of this place, especially at dusk. Painting number 3981 in 3981 days. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Cashmere Rose

Cashmere Rose is behind the second door in my Diamine Inkvent Calendar - and it is a lovely rosy pink!  It is so much fun to reveal a new ink every day!  I'm using a few sketch lines to begin this year, where before I have only used the ink in a direct watercolor way.  I'm exploring how this ink works in a sketch, though I'm only using line work sparingly for now.  I can't wait to see what's behind door number 3! Painting number 3980 in 3980 days. 

Monday, December 4, 2023

Fortune's Gold

I'm so excited to open the first door of this year's Diamine Inkvent Calendar!  Fortune's Gold is rich and shimmery - and perfect for painting this antique Shiny Brite ornament on my tree!  It's been a while since I've penned and painted with ink - so the process is most of today's journey.  My glass dip pen was too fine for the watercolor paper, so I ended up using a brush to avoid scratching into the paper.  The wet ink also soaked into the paper a bit.  I'm using an old watercolor paper I don't ever remember using, so that is also a fun new adventure!  For those of you who don't know, I have never liked 140lb cold pressed watercolor paper.  In fact, that paper is the whole reason I avoided watercolor for most of my life.  But now, I'm up for all challenges, so let the exploration begin!  Painting number 3979 in 3979 days. 

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Hall of Waters

The Hall of Waters in Excelsior Springs is an iconic slice of local history.  Once a tourist destination for the healing waters, the hall is lined with themed Christmas trees open to the public to vote on their favorite.  What a wonderful tradition to capture in ink and watercolor for our monthly Urban Sketchers KC event.  Glad to have my Mom with me to enjoy her first trip to this town, and to lunch at the local diner after a bit of shopping!  Painting number 3978 in 3978 days. 

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Ray's Diner

What fun today was to meet friends and Mom in Excelsior Springs for our monthly Urban Sketchers KC event!  I love the small town charm along these streets, with it's many historic buildings.  This is only my third time to this town, and the first trip for Mom - so it was fun to explore a little more of the place today.  We lunched at this diner afterward where I had an amazing cinnamon roll - even though I don't eat like that, lol! Painting number 3977 in 3977 days. 

Friday, December 1, 2023


Once in a while, I'm asked to paint something very special. I have a lifelong love of painting horses, and we had our own special foxtrotter when the kids were young.  Asked by a dear childhood friend to paint this special horse for it's owner, I loved the opportunity.  No longer on this earth, I wanted to breathe life into this painting, paying tribute to all this horse was to all those who were near. Painting number 3976 in 3976 days. 

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Shiny Ornaments

As I deck the halls, I find a bowl of old ornaments that I keep for painting! Where fancy and ornate adorn my trees, the shiny colored glass balls make great subject matter! Reflecting colors off of each other, they are happy, bold and bright! I use acrylic paint for these baubles - and can't wait to paint some more.  Perhaps this will be my Christmas card theme for the season?! Painting number 3975 in 3975 days. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Tree at Nelson-Atkins Museum

I have never been to the Nelson-Atkins Museum at Christmas time, and was excited to see the nativity scenes at up in this main hall.  My artist friends had told me how lovely it was, but the expansive hall was empty, except for this lovely unadorned tree.  With a few poinsettias flanking it, this was the only seasonal view.  So, I sketched the tree with pencils and lunched with Mom and friends, still longing for a gorgeous Christmas scene.  I think we're going to Union Station in a couple of weeks so that place will surely meet my needs!  Painting number 3974 in 3974 days. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

First Snow at Yellow Barn

Painting on a snowy morning is one of the most peaceful experiences.  All is still and the air is crisp, snow crunches underfoot.  The sun warms my back as I work, and I turn to face it every so often.  There's almost no wind this morning, and the paint time is delightful.  This early snow makes Christmas feel near, and the beauty around me is invigorating!  I hope there is more snow coming soon, I can hear the dripping as this one melts!  Painting number 3973 in 3973 days. 

Monday, November 27, 2023

Snow at the Blue Barn

A beautiful blanket of snow arrived overnight, covering hill and dale.  Rushing my morning work to get out and paint, I found the sun warm and the wind calm.  The cedars catch the snow so gracefully, it makes me so happy to have nurtured them to this size, to be painted.  All I plant and cultivate here is with an eye to future paintings.  I can already see them in my mind, and all I have to do is work toward that vision.  Painting number 3972 in 3972 days. 

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Farmhouse Snow

Our first snow is a beautiful one - blanketing the landscape in glistening white!  Dripping from the eves as soon as the sun popped out, I knew I had to get out there quickly.  An overcast morning soon opened up to a clear sky before I finished, and I did not chase that light.  The morning glow remains in the sky as I paint the beauty before me.  What a treat to wake up to this, now if only it would last a few days!  Painting number 3971 in 3971 days. 

Friday, November 24, 2023

Christmas at Union Station

 Wow!  What a magical place Union Station is at Christmas time! With holiday music in the air, and families coming to enjoy the tree, all is merry and bright!  I feel nostalgic in this place, with a feeling of reverence as I remember the six generations of my family that have walked these halls, that I now paint.  Could any of them have imagined I would?  As I do so often - and hardly anyone knows - I have painted my family members into the crowd, and I am all the way to the right - painting the scene at my easel. Just a little something extra for those who really look!  Painting number   3969 in 3969 days. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Family Tree Christmas


This place is brimming with Christmas spirit - and one can't help but be swept away!  Meeting artist friends here for our weekly plein air outing, I could hardly decide which tree to paint!  There are many here, all with different themes, just begging to be painted!  Michaela and the little ones met me here, since this is close to their house.  The boys picked out special ornaments, and we enjoyed steamers back in the greenhouse.  It's always balmy out there - even on those snowy days!  I love sketching here so much, and it always gets me in the mood for holiday painting!  Painting number 3966 in 3966 days. 

Monday, November 20, 2023

Christmas at Family Tree

Painting this time of year at a favorite local nursery always gets me in the Christmas spirit!  Family Tree Nursery welcomed our Monday watercolor group today, and Michaela and the boys joined me there as well!  As I sketched a couple of beautiful trees, they picked out special ornaments and a gift for Daddy. We enjoyed hot steamers in the greenhouse afterward, and I picked up a few new plants on the way out.  It was a lovely morning filled with holiday cheer and we'll wishers add I visited with the shoppers. What a lovely way to kick off the week of Thanksgiving!  Painting number 3965 in 3965 days. 

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Autumn Drive

I couldn't resist the gorgeous fall foliage along this gravel drive, so I parked a little way back and got a quick painting in! The leaves have been blowing and there is a chill in the air - our beautiful, warm days might be over tonight! We've had such a long, warm fall, but I'm still not ready for it to end.  I am thankful tonight that I've had the extra days to capture this color this year, and I'm looking forward to painting the holiday season now, too. 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Light on the Tanks

I've lately been hunting up special requests from patrons, and have come across a few paintings never posted. In an effort to update my records, I'm adding them when I find them. It gives me a place to tag those paintings and make them visible to those in search of them. This is an acrylic painting of an oil field site somewhere near Fairfield, Illinois.  It was down a gravel path unknown to me, and I didn't record the exact location.  I've not been to that site since, so can only guess that is was north/northwest of town, based on what I remember. Painting number 3963 in 3963 days. 

Friday, November 17, 2023

Autumn Hay Bale

I often paint over old paintings, and there is a walking bridge though the woods under this one.  At 5 inches wide, it doesn't quite fit my 7x5 thumb box pochade, but that doesn't stop me.  I spent most of the day looking at this scene while cutting trees and brush from around the milk barn. I just had to make time to get this painted! The reds of autumn are fading fast, so I'm out making the most of it while the leaves remain.  I love having the hay bales in the pasture so much, too.  I hope to get many more paintings before they are removed!  Painting number 3962 in 3962 days. 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

JC Nichols Fountain Nocturne

The JC Nichols fountain is one of my favorite Kansas City places to paint, and I especially love painting it at night!  I've painted 4 different nocturnes here, two in oil, one in acrylic and oil, and this one in acrylic.  I like to use a heavy body acrylic paint with a dry brush technique, never adding water to the paint.  I don't even rinse out my brushes until I ready to wash them, so that water doesn't dilute the paint.  It's been a while since I've used my acrylics, and it is fun to switch mediums daily.  No better way to keep things fresh!  Painting number 3961 in 3961 days. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

St. Vincent's Chapel

 St. Vincent's Chapel sits atop a hill at the Chaumette Winery near Sainte Genevieve, Missouri.  This is a lovely place for unforgettable weddings, and a wonderful place to paint!  This one is in acrylic, and I find I'm interested in that medium again!  I think I'll revisit my acrylics more often in the coming weeks. Painting number 3960 in 3960 days. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Autumn at Union Hill

These autumn days are fleeting, and I'm so lucky to get to paint them before they fade! We're having a gorgeous November, and it is my pleasure to work in perfect weather.  What a treat!  The leaves are dropping quickly now, and I feel my painting window closing.  The next season has it's own beauty, and I will love painting it, too.  Painting number 3959 in 3959 days. 

Monday, November 13, 2023

White Barn Autumn

What glorious color there is in autumn leaves!  Shining and saturated, these colors sing in the landscape against the green grass. I see a subtle shift in the color each day, and the leaves falling to the ground are a sure sign of bare branches to come. I do wish the trees could hold onto their autumn best for a month or two - then maybe I could get my fill of fall painting!  Painting number 3958 in 3958 days. 

Sunday, November 12, 2023

In Retirement

This is the second painting of this style, in this field full of oil well equipment painted while in Fairfield, Illinois.  A very complicated scene when first drawn, I've come to know my subject better now. What was like a puzzle of angles and lines is now a rhythm of pump jacks and parts.  It has been very interesting to work in this field, and I can't wait to find more oil fields when I return to Fairfield!  Painting number 3957 in 3957 days.  So happy this painting has a new home with two others!  Yay! 

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Autumn Hay Bales

The reds of autumn are really popping here on the farm, and I am delighted to capture the beauty in oil!  This may be the first time that our last cutting of hay has coincided with peak autumn color!  Though I'm painting small plein air pieces each day on our property, I intend to paint them larger when I've got more time!  LOVE painting the beautiful autumn color in this pastoral setting I love so much!  Painting number 3956 in 3956 days. 

Friday, November 10, 2023

Plaza Lights Magic

I absolutely LOVE painting the Country Club Plaza for the holidays!  Always inspiring, this place is celebrating it's 100th year!  Though I've painted these gorgeous streets multiple times, I've never chosen acrylics to do it with.  I've been painting a great deal lately, so it's wonderful to stretch into a different medium for a bit.  I'm using a do brush technique with heavy body acrylics, without water.  They build up with a thicker, more opaque quality this way.  And the color pop of that acrylic paint is also very different from my oils.  Such a great change!  The best bonus is that the painting dries very quickly, so I could frame it up the same day!  This one is now showing at HDR Inc in Kansas City along with 14 others.  It is the 3955th painting in 3955 days. 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Golden Pond

 I love the golden hour light on our pond, especially on such a still evening with glassy reflections!  The autumn color all over our property is spectacular, and all I want to do is paint all day, afraid the colors will fade before I get them all painted.  This was a difficult day, saying goodbye to a dear friend for the last time, remembering the good times with others.  Spending a little time at water's edge has been so very soothing.  I can always turn to nature with my paint for healing.  Painting number 3954 in 3954 days. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Autumn Path

 Oh, how I love the colors of autumn!  The pin oaks are really putting on a show today as they near their peak color!  The golden orange is pushing to red, and I'm so happy to get the chance to paint them!  75 degrees in November is a chance not to be missed when it comes to plein air painting!  Hoping for more opportunities as the days roll by!  Painting number 3952 in 3952 days. 

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Autumn Path to the Woods


I'm thankful today for an amazing day to spend at the zoo with family - and a little time to paint, too!  The chilly start soon turned to the 70s - and we couldn't have had a better day for family fun!  The most beautiful leaves are fading, but I'm hopeful the reds will soon begin.  The path to the southwest pasture is lovely in it's autumn glow - and it just had to be painted in oils.  What a treat this late in November!  Painting number 3950 in 3950 days. 

Saturday, November 4, 2023

7 Tanks


Love sending paintings to their new home - and this one is headed to Fairfield, Illinois!  Sketched on the outskirts of town, the rusty color of those tanks grabbed my attention.  With ink and watercolor, I painted the scene leaving the sky for last.  I didn't want to detract from the composition by adding color to the sky, so I didn't!  Painting number 3949 in 3949 days.