Thursday, August 31, 2023

September Phlox


I love painting the garden phlox that I received from Grandma Bessie so many years ago.  I would help her with her flowers, sometimes putting out seed, or thinning out perennials.  And always she would send a little something home with me, telling me not to thank her or it wouldn't grow!  Those were happy times with normally a child or two in tow, and they would play in the backyard as we tended the flowers. These blooms always remind me of her love of the garden, and I've planted them all over the place, sharing with others, to spread the joy she shared with me.  Painting number 3885 in 3885 days. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

August Lilacs


I couldn't believe when I walked out the door this weekend and found lilacs blooming in the garden!  An early bloomer in spring, it had really faded in the hot days of August.  With the cool down this week and very little rain, here they decide to bloom again!  Planted by my Grandma Frank, these fragrant, old fashioned beauties bring back memories of picking them as a girl to put in a vase in the kitchen.  Their sweet fragrance filled the downstairs!  Though I am busy, I HAD to take time out from gardening to paint Grandma's lilacs that are actually blooming in August! When a few more open, I'll bring them inside to cherish those special summer lilacs.  Painting number 3884 in 3884 days. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

Garden Bridge

I will never tire of painting this place!  The Overland Park Arboretum is one of my favorite places to paint, and I LOVE sneaking away for a couple hours to soak in the beauty!  This garden is ever changing, with blooms in transition from one blush to another.  Oils are my medium today, and the rich buttery texture is perfect to describe the flora and water.  It is so very peaceful to paint in a garden, and I'm so happy to come here when I can. Painting number 3883 in 3883 days. 

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Historic Marceline

It was raining when I arrived in Marceline for the Wine and Art Stroll, so I pulled into the park to have a look around.  Loving this composition, I walked to the new stage for shelter.  As the rain picked up, I pulled in a little farther to keep the rain off my ink and watercolor.  The rain let up by the time I was finished, so I could frame out of my trunk.  What a honor that this painting was chosen for the first Purchase Award sponsored by Nature's Grace and Wellness!  Painting number 3882 in 3882 days. 

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Sunflowers in the Garden


My first time to visit this place, several locations grabbed me immediately!  When I saw the garden in the back, I knew this would be my painting. I love getting to paint amazing farms like this!  I used my artistic license to move the glorious zinnias on the back side to the front of the sunflowers, layering those blooms as they were on the back. Though the sunflowers were past their prime, the magic of my brush revived them to the vision I see through my eyes.  I could feel the rain returning behind me, so I quickly packed my gear and got this framed at my car as the first big drops were falling. I had trouble getting up the muddy hill to this farm, and I certainly wanted to get through it before more rain washed away the gravel! I'm so happy this painting has a new home tonight, with patrons who first purchased a painting from me last year! Painting number 3881 in 3881 days.  ♥️🎨🌻

Friday, August 25, 2023

Sunflowers in the Wind


These cheerful sunflowers are on my easel today, as I wait for the expected rain and cooler temps tomorrow!  These beauties have struggled a bit with the heat after a ravaging by a strong winded storm, but still the blooms are emerging.  With many buds remaining, I'm hopeful we'll have a lovely show one day soon.  With a nice wind today, it was reasonably comfortable for painting, and I always look for shade in such heat.  Either I'm getting used to the 100s or the humidity is down, because I spent several hours early in the garden before I thought to come in.  I can hardly believe the high tomorrow will be 82 degrees - I haven't seen that since I left Wisconsin!  Painting number 3880 in 3880 days.  

Thursday, August 24, 2023



I'm in the garden working on something new for Powell Gardens, a lovely old variety coxcomb shared with me by a friend.  This bloom always reminds me of the seed Grandma Bessie used to share many years ago.  The bees and flies were all over the bright red flowers, so it was easy to paint one in!  These beauties all came back from seed dropped last year, and I didn't get them thinned quick enough.  By the time I returned to town they had gone crazy!  So, now I'll freely use them for cut flowers, allowing some to remain until frost.  I may be painting these many times in the weeks ahead!  Painting number 3879 in 3879 days. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023



I LOVE this large coreopsis variety, and bought these beauties to plant after the weather cools off this weekend.  Resting in water to survive the heat, I simply HAD to paint them! This quick and loose sketch took under 30 minutes, and I recorded the process on my first time lapse video!  It was a little awkward to have the phone suctioned onto a wooden painting surface, and I tried not to move or get in the way of the camera. Next time I'll just put the phone on a holder over my shoulder so I can work as I normally do, and not worry about all the extra scenery around.  It is pretty fun to see the finished product - just a little slice of my Artist Journey!  You can see it in Instagram or Facebook on my reels.  Painting number 3878 in 3878 days. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Nighttime Hydrangea


I'm coming to my easel late tonight after a fun evening with friends - and I'm happy to paint these beauties from the front porch!  These Little Lime hydrangea have really grown into big, gorgeous bushes in the last few years and oh how I appreciate them!  All my life I wanted glorious hydrangea, and I finally have them. And, they are perfect for my pre-1845 farmhouse!  For those late nights when I need close subject matter - they can't be beat!  They are right off the front porch and illuminated by the Edison lights - couldn't be more convenient!  Painting number 3877 in 3877 days. 

Monday, August 21, 2023

Bee in the Garden


I get out pretty early for garden work on days like these, and often find painting inspiration, too. The bees don't seem to care about our high heat index, and these phlox just keep on blooming though it feels like 114 degrees out there!  I stay in the shade when I'm painting or working on days like this, and watering the beds early to help them survive this crazy heat.  I sure hope it keeps them healthy!  The atmosphere is thick enough to cut with a knife, and you can even see it in the photo.  Ink and watercolor for this quick paint, with a little extra ink at the end.  Painting number 3876 in 3876 days. 

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Sunflowers in August


These sunflowers were reaching up from the ground and blooming, after being blown over in our last storm.  I hadn't yet gotten to them for clean up, and when I did, I could clearly see they were still growing and the buds were opening.  Snipping them out of the mud, I brought their cheerful faces inside, and of course I had to paint the survivors! Next time I feel like giving up, I'm going to think about these sunflowers, rising from the mud to shine! I think I'll paint them in oil, too.  The night time lighting is so much more dramatic than the daylight I began this painting in!  Painting number 3875 in 3875 days.  

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Bee and Wildflowers

 After spending so much time working in the garden lately, it's my sweet reward to take a break and paint it!  With all our rain the grounds are lush, which means I STILL have so much weeding!  We are preparing for our middle son's wedding here in October, so I am working as many hours as possible in the gardens.  Thank goodness I have so many painting options right outside my door, and flowers are a perennial favorite for me to paint!  I love cheerful yellow flowers every day of the week, so they are on my easel! Painting number 3874 in 3874 days. 

Friday, August 18, 2023

Babbling Brook

When I'm painting along a creek, time stands still. Birdsong and babbling water take me far, and there is no other moment than the one I am immersed in.  So concentrated is my focus, all melts away and the painting unfolds.  Stroke by stroke the scene comes to life on my panel until a little voice inside me sighs, and I feel that I am done.  It's a bit like waking from a dream when it is time to clean my brushes.  I'm so thankful to get to experience this place in such a way.  Painting number 3873 in 3873 days. 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Hidden Creek


I love painting these beautiful Missouri creeks - in every season!  I am drawn to the water, again and again. The every changing color and reflections hold a magic in them, relative to the weather conditions and the sun.  Often, the hues and values change right before my eyes, and I can only rest in the colors I have already marked, because one can not chase the light!  In my earlier days I have done just that, and ended up with a painting that did not make sense. With so much experience in the plein air field, I can nearly always tell if a painting was done en plein air or not, it rings of truth in the color and value.  If that is worked on later in the studio, that fresh truth is somehow denigrated, feeling less fresh, overworked.  Every painting is a lesson, and I like to let it speak to me. Painting number 3872 in 3972 days. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Path Along the Vineyard


Love spending a day in a beautiful vineyard with paint!  The winding road along the vinyard was picturesque and absolutely needed to be painted!  I love my oils for a landscape like this - thick and buttery for all that texture.  I long for a vineyard of my own, to paint whenever I need a good vineyard fix!  Painting number 3871 in 3871 days. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Windy Day Sunflowers

 What fun to try to capture these wild beauties while they blow in the wind!  I love this wild variety of sunflower, native to this area, so I have allowed these giants to grow in a few different locations on the property.  Native blooms are great for the pollinators, and these sure are buzzing with bees and butterflies - when the wind doesn't catch them!  This was a joy to paint, and now I must get back to work in that garden!  Painting number 3870 in 3870 days.

Monday, August 14, 2023

HaHa Tonka Sunset


Love painting historic Ha Ha Tonka at sunset - especially in oils.  The rich, buttery oils describe the rocky bluff and textured trees so quickly on the panel.  I had to gain my vantage from a perch along the edge to get this dramatic view.  It seems to reflect the historic past of this beautiful place so well.  See this painting and more in person at Lake Fine Art Galleria on Bagnell Dam Boulevard. Painting number 3869 in 3869 days. 

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Peach Zinnia

 Tonight I'm painting one of the zinnias I have grown from seed in my hydroponic Gardyn! I LOVE having beautiful blooms growing among my herbs, greens and tomatoes!  Mint is growing behind the long stems of this beautiful peach colored zinnia, and peaks out on the side.  I started my hydronic growing adventure last November, and only planted this seed in early summer.  I'm constantly trying new things, especially new lettuce varieties, and now I'm beginning to sprinkle in blooms.  I'm currently trying to start strawflowers, and just today brought in a lovely marigold seed head from one of my garden plants outdoors.  I save seed, but this plant does not look like any I've grown before. I love the wild and twisty petals, and the unusual color.  Since I waited past dark to paint - this was the perfect subject for today, and right after I finished painting - the power went out for a while!  So happy my timing was on point tonight!  A nocturne by candlelight really would have been something! Painting number 3868 in 3868 days. 

Friday, August 11, 2023

Bridge Over the Portage


I used to run the North Coast Inland trail over that distant bridge almost every day when I stayed in Elmore, Ohio.  There were many fun family trips here, all through the years.  When my father had health issues, I found myself running that trail on my short windows away from the hospital.  Many times that trail helped me gather strength, run from pain, and center my soul when I needed it most. It's hard to return here, and yet I want to run again, almost like returning to an old friend who helped me through the bad times.  Painting it again brings back so many memories.  Painting number 3867 in 3867 days. 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Bee and Rose of Sharon


After working with my daughter for a couple of hours on my website, I had a lovely stack of handmade paper waiting for me when I arrived home!  It is a heavy weight, rough textured, deckle edged handmade paper by artisan Bhoori at Leather Village!  It is so nice of them to send me paper to try that I switched my plans for painting small, and instead tried out this new 10x7 paper. It accepts ink very well, and I found several layers of watercolor were required to get the intensity I wanted.  I can't help but think this paper would be extra nice for ink alone, and I must try that on the next piece.  I love the weight of heavy papers like this one - I can hardly wait to use it again!  Painting number 3866 in 3866 days. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2023



Only the top of these wild sunflowers are blooming yet - and they are so far above my head!  My neck is a little stiff after looking up and I can't wait until the blooms open at eye level!  We had some strong storms a couple of weeks ago, and a few of these blew over, but they are still preparing to bloom from their side!  When I can reach them, I'll bring in large bouquets for the house, they last so long in a vase! This is another painting that has a secret painting behind it, as I recycle old paintings into new!  Painting number 3865 in 3865 days. 

Monday, August 7, 2023

Impressions of Rose of Sharon

I love capturing last light in the Rose of Sharon, before the petals close for the night, but I wish I'd left myself more time to do so!  When painting a flower that closes it's petals, it is important to get that paint down with plenty of time to do the finish work.  I was rather absorbed in the edges and nuances of color as the golden light hit, and suddenly I could see other blooms closing that were already in shadow!  So, I finished in a rush, and I can still see things I would continue with.  I think I need another bold bloom on the mid-bottom right, and to cross the upper plane a third in from the left with foliage.  Perhaps that bee I dashed in is a wee too large?  They move so quickly that I didn't get a good shot at him before he left.  I was playing with my palette knife and tinted whites on those petals (when I lost track of time), and found it very fun indeed!  I think I'll revisit this tomorrow to finish these few things, if I find the time!  Painting number 3864 in 3864 days. 

Sunday, August 6, 2023



I had extra help in the garden for this one, and I just HAD to post this photo of him!  It is VERY characteristic of him - no matter where I am!  He wants to be between me and whatever I'm attending to, wherever I am!  After cleaning the carpet and rugs this morning (where he had to spend time outside or in his kennel until they were dry), he was not about to be separated from any of us again today.  He even tried to squeeze between my oldest daughters legs and the table leg in the kitchen - just to be under the table by us all!  But he couldn't fit, and had to back right out of the tiny hole, lol! He's so funny, and very needy.  And I don't think he appreciates the clean rugs either. Painting number 3863 in 3863 days. 

Saturday, August 5, 2023

H&R Block View


What a unique opportunity to sketch fabulous Kansas City views from the H&R Block building this morning with Urban Sketchers KC! There is literally a painting at every window, and beautiful artwork on every wall - making for a very inspiring morning!  All the complexities of this architectural view grabbed me instantly!  Old and new existing in the same space, shiny and vibrant, full of history.  I didn't know what I was walking into this morning, and what a treat it was!  I love getting to sketch in a place like this!  Painting number 3862 in 3862 days. 

Friday, August 4, 2023

Glory in the Sky


I've only to look to the skies above to find such awesome inspiration! So often, I'm too busy to stop everything and paint a gorgeous sky, but I'm trying to be more mindful with my schedule.  Always filling every minute with a many things as I can, I find there really is merit in the here and now, and allowing those things that appear in the moment to REALLY make an appearance.  I let go of time a little, so these opportunities can slip right in, and I can appreciate them completely.  As the color grew in the sky, I knew there were possibilities growing, too.  Beautiful cloud formations abounded to the south where only clearing skies were to the north.  With 3 big brushes, I jumped right into it, painting all the large masses quickly.  Reserving each brush for a color - yellow, blue, and violet, I could didn't waste time cleaning my brushes until I had everything painted - and I saved the green bits until the end, when a dirty brush wouldn't matter.  My paint is getting thick from all my days of painting in the heat. I must clean it up before the next plein air event, but for now I'll concentrate on using it all up!  Painting number 3861 in 3861 days. 

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Red Cottage

During the wet paint sale on the lawn of the Lakeside Pavilion, i was asked about a possible commission.  A few days later, I was able to finish this while still in Ohio  It's fun to capture a special place for an anniversary, and then meet for lunch together afterward!  It was a lovely time of visiting, and Mom and I both left the table with new friends. The world is full of good people!  ❤️ painting number 3860 in 3860 days. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Stavkirke Church


I LOVE using artisan handmade paper when painting in ink and watercolor!  This one is made by Bhoori, a junior artisan at Leather Village.  Each packet of paper that I order from them comes with a card from the artist with their photo, with a word of thanks and appreciation.  This paper is a little thinner and a bit more absorbent, causing it to really soak in that ink.  Every handmade paper has it's own special qualities, and it is my job to make the most of each one.  This paper is a particularly strong choice for using ink.  If you look closely, you can see the clip marks on the bottom where it was clipped to a line to dry!  This amazing structure is the Stavkirke Church on Washington Island, Wisconsin.  Full of historic character, services are held here still. Painting number 3859 in 3859 days. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Cave Point Splendor

Some places are so spectacular that I return to paint them again and again.  Cave Point in Door Cointy, Wisconsin, is such a place.  The color is the water is stunning, and my perch from atop the bluff offers an amazing view of the rocks and Lake Michigan. Occasionally, someone will run and jump into that water from right beside me - and my heart jumps a bit each time!  This place must be experienced, so stop by next time you're in Sevastopol, Wisconsin.  Painting number 3858 in 3858 days.