Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cowboy John and Dallas

I don't paint portraits very often, partly because most folks expect too much formality AND it's really easy NOT to achieve a likeness! I prefer portraits of people doing the things they love or in an attitude that is familiar to those that love them. This portrait of John Ross is both. He's a horse trainer friend who loves horses, loves teaching horses and loves teaching those who love horses. I've known him and his family for over a decade and have the utmost respect for his knowledge and his work ethic. This painting was intended to be a portrait of the horse for the woman who owns him - and it ended up being mostly about John...
Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kiss My ... 4

My recent paintings of horses' rear ends has become rather popular, so here we go again. Nearly all my neighbors have horses, and these belong to John. Actually this is just one mare, in three different poses. I stopped to visit with her and her two buddies one afternoon and true to form, since I had no goodies, they ignored me and continued to graze (I was allowed to administer one quick wither scratch, however). John raises Arabians and this mare is one of his favorites. Most of the horses around me are Quarter Horses and some of their owners loudly proclaim "I wouldn't get caught dead with no A-Rab on MY place". I have always asserted, however, that a good horse is a good horse, regardless of the breed. And there are really good ones in all registries.
This 16 X 20 painting will be ready to sell as soon as it dries and you can contact me at
Song of Solomon 6:9 But my dove, my perfect one, is unique, the only daughter of her mother, the favorite of the one who bore her. The maidens saw her and called her blessed; the queens and concubines praised her.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fish are relaxing to watch and great stress relievers, in my opinion. Until something goes the pond pump getting a frog stuck in the intake. At least that's what I SUSPECT is the reason for the minimal trickle of water currently coming down the waterfall. Which means today I need to lower the pond level to below the intake box, then dismantle the pump and run a snake down the pipe which goes underground to the waterfall. Yep. And the water is now about 55 degrees. I am not looking forward to that chore. But it must be done because my fish depend on me to take care of them. This 6 X 10 painting is up for auction on eBay.
John 21:16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."

Sunday, October 28, 2007


First Pond

A number of years ago, when I was working and in charge of 8 employees, I was experiencing a particularly hard time managing several of them. Frustration sometimes leads me to my yard where I usually dig and/or construct things. This time I started digging a hole which eventually resulted in a fish pond (after about 3 months of nightly burrowing). The first effort was attractive, although crude. And it was hard to keep clean, because the filtering system I used was woefully inadequate.
Eventually I tired of trying to keep it clean and we hired a professional to install a filtering system, a waterfall and to lay and concrete the flagstones properly. We were more than happy with the results and have enjoyed the "new" pond for 3 1/2 years now. The fish love it, too, and I periodically have to find homes for their offspring, which is harder than you imagine. This is my first effort at painting one of them and it will be up for auction on eBay this coming week.
Job 12:8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I have not repainted the cow painting - too busy getting ready for the Community Center benefit auction tonight. I am cooking 20 pounds of pinto beans and countless cookies as my contribution.
I did this little painting several months ago. This is Georgia - a pound puppy who we think is part Border Collie and part Corgi. She was a lot shorter when she first came home with us - and fortunately her legs grew a little more than her body. She is still disproportionately short, but she doesn't let it hinder her - she can outrun a Cheetah and jump like a gazelle after her Frisbee. She takes her job of overseeing the animals around here very seriously. And when I start packing up the RV for our next trip, she parks herself by the truck and doesn't move for fear of being left behind. She loves to go camping, and her favorite command is "load up"! This dog loves us unconditionally and is eager to please. She came from the local pound and was about 6 months old when we adopted her - I highly recommend the pound for a grateful, loving, loyal companion.
John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cow Have Secrets, Too

I painted this painting before my recent surge and commitment to improvement through practice. I'm going to paint it again today and show the difference.
I titled it "Cows Have Secrets, Too" and I used it on a birthday card last year for my Mom. The inside said something like "It's no secret that you are a having a birthday! Have a GREAT one!"
Proverbs 11:13 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


While in Jackson Hole this past summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph wild bison several times. It seemed as if there was ALWAYS one old bull who attracted and allowed birds to perch on him and peck bugs off his body. Was this animal overly infested with ticks and lice, or was he just the most agreeable to allowing riders? I never got this question answered. But with a shortage of trees in the valley (except along creeks), I imagine these birds welcomed a place to perch and the old bull appreciated the grooming!
This little 4 X 6 panel will be auctioned starting Oct. 28 on eBay along with a number of others.
Galatians 6:10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Painting fruit - an exercise in color and shape and composition. When my brain refuses to play the "think" game with me, I paint fruit. Tomatoes are good.
I have a computer and CD holder full of photos and ideas for paintings. And yet this tomato was the only thing that interested me last Saturday. Maybe it was because it was the last one in the kitchen. Maybe it was because I have started ANOTHER diet and I was hungry.
Mike helped me gesso and cut up a masonite board into a bunch of 8 X 10 and 6 X 8 panels. My plan is to paint one a day in addition to the larger, more ambitious projects I have going on (one of which is a mural in a friend's bathroom - more on that later).
This little 6 X 8 panel is available for purchase from me
John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I awoke this morning to the sound of a cold rain. The house is chilly, too. We haven't had to turn on the furnace yet this fall and Halloween is almost here. My horses have no winter coats yet at all. I better check to see if their blankets are in good shape - not that it is really necessary to blanket them when the weather is cool. It's just one of those nurturing things that I like to do for them.
This painting looks like a change of season is underway, rather like the weather today. I like the limited palette of blue and orange - complimentary colors and opposite one another on the color wheel. That's what initiates a lot of vibrancy and movement. I'm hoping my son likes this one and would hang a larger version somewhere in his house. Meanwhile, this one is available for purchase from me (measures 8 X 12).
Deuteronomy 28:12 The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


We raised Simmental cattle for over 20 years and they were all tame and friendly. It takes special people to raise livestock that will be eventually eaten. And, yes, we ate our own animals. It would be hypocritical to do otherwise. But we were always careful to maintain the best of conditions for them while they were in our care.
This little painting is available for purchase directly from me while it is drying and will be placed on eBay for auction later.
Psalm 95:7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Miss Jack

I have always loved horses and have owned them for the past 25 years. Many have come and gone - for one reason or another. Most were good, some weren't. This horse was the best. Her name was Miss Jack and she was with us 14 years. She died this past summer, three months after giving birth to her last foal. She was 21 years old, and I still have her 11 year old offspring, PJ, who will be having a foal herself, this March. The baby will be a paint horse, and I expect it will the subject of many paintings in the future.

Horses are nothing like dogs, although many people treat them as such. I have a great deal of respect for an animal that allows a human to sit on it and tell it what to do, and for those who know how to get a horse to do such a thing.

1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Child's Play

This is a portrait of my daughter, Merideth, when she was around 2. We lived in the country then as we do now, and the best entertainment for that child was to carry a cat around the yard and play with it. We always seemed to have cats that would tolerate children warting them constantly. I can't remember either ever getting scratched or hurt in any way.
Isaiah 11:6The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bay City Ranch


My Son-in-law's parents are ranchers/custom farmers down near Bay City, Texas, and I painted this little painting for them before our kids got married last May. They've had quite a flood of rain this past year - not much farming has been done, I'm afraid. And that's hard for Mark - he does not like sitting idle at all.

This is pretty illustrative work, and I used to think I would enjoy doing the art for a children's book. Maybe some day - meantime I keep looking for little scenes to paint and put our dog, Georgia, into. Maybe I should write the book myself and use Georgia as the main character.

Ecclesiastes 10:18 If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Decisions 2

I'm a little late posting this morning because of a routine change. I have GOT to do something about my metabolism - after 50 it's hard to keep weight off, so I'm going back to exercising daily- or at least walking/jogging in the morning before I begin my day. Today I walked/jogged 2 miles in 30 minutes. I'm off to a good start.
This horse, on the other hand, isn't in too good a position...he's alone and appears to be deciding whether or not he wants to stay that way. The cowboy down below looks as if he could use a lift - why is he leading that horse? There's a story there somewhere!
I painted this once before on a small canvas - and it was a little different the first time. The cowboy was leading another horse with an injured man riding it. Another story to tell...
This painting measures 18 X 24 and is available for purchase.
Isaiah 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Kiss My ... 3

The bristle brush and I are reaching an understanding, I think. I have worked on this painting for two solid days - only taking a break for church, to return a neighbor's dog and to go to the bathroom! The brush breathed a sigh of relief when I finally cleaned it up and set it down.This mare belongs to a breeder down the road from me who raises some sensationally built horses - making it easy for me to continue in my admiration of the equine butt. Again, just like my own horses, they approach me at the fence, but as soon as they find out that there are no treats, it's "kiss my ..."!This painting measures 16 X 20, is on gallery wrapped canvas with painted sides and will be ready to sell in a few days. Contact me directly if you are interested.

Job 12:13 To God belongs wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Colter Bay Canoeist

While in Wyoming this past June I took numerous lake and boat pictures. Most folks canoed, while there were a few speed boats on the lakes. This individual was spied in a canoe at Colter Bay having a good time on the crystal clear water. He had a fishing pole in the front of his boat, but I think he was enjoying the paddling more. He gladly posed for me while I snapped a dozen photos.
Me and the bristle brush are still arguing, but I think we are coming to a compromise.....
This is a large painting - 24 X 36 - and will be posted in my eBay store. Contact me directly if you are interesting in purchasing it.

Mark 1:17 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Molly Mule


I have a friend who swears that mules are the best to ride, and she has been trying to get me to come ride one at her place. She also owns a phenomenal stallion who happens to be a paint horse and I have bred my mare, PJ, to him. But she really loves her donkeys and mules. Mules have a reputation for being sure footed and well balanced - and most don't buck - which is a good thing at my age! They also have a reputation for being stubborn, but I think that is more along the line of being cautious and practical.

This molly mule was at her place last time I visited. She didn't want to make friends with me a first - being a practical mule, she waited to see what my intentions were before she let me approach her.

Psalm 32:9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Follow Me

This is another small (6 x 8) attempt to make friends with the bristle brush again! And to get the color right portraying distance and heat.

We have raised many babies on our farm - both four legged and two legged - and they were all quite good at following Momma. Some mommas were better than others at leading, but all have been fiercely concerned when it came to looking after their little ones.

This painting will be offered on eBay next week and is available for purchase directly from me now,

Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Balancing Act

Still trying new things here. I went to a painting workshop last summer, and a list of supplies included hog bristle brushes. I tried them then and hated them - I have always preferred sable brushes and just couldn't get use to the scratchy edges. But an artist I admire uses them and so I tried again recently - with better results - a couple little paintings first and a large one currently on the easel. The bristle brushes prevent me from concentrating too much on the subject details and focusing more on composition and color - something ALL artists should do.
This little painting shows the action and balance of horse and rider in a cutting competition and is available for purchase from me.
Proverbs 16:11 Honest scales and balances are from the LORD; all the weights in the bag are of his making.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kiss My ... 2

Something about the rear end of a horse has always attracted me. My husband briefly watched me paint this one yesterday and commented "You sure do like horses' butts, don't you?" I thought for a second and answered "Yes, I do". After he left, I pondered on that remark a bit longer to determine WHAT I like about horses butts....
They're strong and powerful, for sure - especially on a quarter horse, the sprinter of the horse world. They are well defined on a horse that is in shape - only a few strokes of the paintbrush are needed to define the image.

This painting will be auctioned on eBay next week.

We are weak but he is strong (from "Jesus Loves Me, This I Know")

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Little Boy on a Big Horse

This painting has an alternate title: "Up You Go". The child was a miniature of his daddy and he was some proud to be dressed like him AND riding a big horse! Sons idolize their fathers whether they are worthy or not. Most of the fathers I know are worthy - but I know a lot of cowboys, too!

Proverbs 4:1 Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

PJ and Me


At first glance, this painting appears totally abstract - but there IS an image. Can you see it? I was sitting on a fence looking down at my horse, PJ, when I took the photo that inspired it. Now can you see it?

Things aren't always what we perceive them to be upon first viewing. I have come to call several people "friend" who at first meeting didn't seem to be "friendship material". Digging deeper is sometimes worth the effort....

Proverbs 27:9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Feeding the Birds

One of the best vacations we ever took with the kids was to South Padre Island. It's a long trip to get there, but well worth it. The beach that year was spotless, the weather perfect and the fishing great!

My daughter could have spent the entire time feeding the gulls, if we let her. They knew an easy mark, too - and they were so conditioned to getting fed, all you had to do was make the motion of raising your arm or tossing something in the air (either real or imaginary) and there'd be a squawking flock around you in seconds!

Philippians 4:12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Friday, October 5, 2007

It's OK to Shoot Elk

We visited Yellowstone this past June. After a gloriously wet winter and spring, the wildlife was fat and abundant. Of course they are protected in this 2 million-plus acre "park" so they behave as if they own the place - and in reality, they do! Bears, bison, mule deer, coyotes, wolves, bald eagles and elk - all live in this Eden created by God and managed (sometimes well) by man.
I couldn't resist painting this man "shooting" an elk with his digital camera. This little 9 X 12 is available for purchase.

Genesis 2:15The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Room WIth a View

I don't think many folks realize how close we came to losing the American Bison. They once blackened the plains and were the main source of everything for the native people of this country. By 1886 the herds of over 60 million had been reduced to about 1100. That's so close to extinction, it's amazing they have made the recovery they have.
This painting makes me wonder what it must have been like for the last buffalo in a particular area. Bison are herd animals and like horses and cows, need companionship of their own kind to thrive. How lonely he must have been.

This painting is available for purchase.

Psalm 25:16Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Dear Little Deer


Rocky Mountain National Park is full of deer and elk so tame they wander everywhere - like pets. This little mule deer doe was in our camp one morning and casually grazed for 10 minutes while I walked all around her snapping her photo. She was fearless and evidently felt totally safe. I pray often for a life like that.

Job 21:9 Their homes are safe and free from fear; the rod of God is not upon them.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Streams of Water in the Desert


Crossing New Mexico can be a challenge for some people - especially those that view it as a desolate expanse of boring cactus-filled desert. I have NEVER felt that way about the state. We visit New Mexico at least twice a year and every time the scenery is different. This past summer the skies were awesome everywhere we looked, and I will spend much of this winter trying to recapture the expanse and grandeur of this state.
Isaiah 32:2 Each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.

Halfway Caught

I go to a lot of rodeos both to watch and enjoy and to gather material for paintings. I am almost always guaranteed some great photos and ideas - especially when there are animals involved.
This calf was in the middle of a "mugging" - no someone wasn't trying to steal his wallet! Two cowboys were chasing him around an open arena - with one assigned to rope him and the other intent on grabbing him, throwing him to the ground and tying his feet. Not many more rules than that. Rope him however you can and get him to stay on the ground for a pre-determined length of time. All within 60 seconds or less.
Proverbs 15:17Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.