Friday, February 29, 2008

Pregnant Horses CAN Run, Too!

5 X 7 Oil on Masonite $50
This is PJ and I have had her since she was a baby. Her dam died last summer and I decided last year that I really would like to continue her lineage and have one more foal.
PJ is 10 months pregnant and getting fatter by the day. She's due at the end of this month - 12 years old and having her first foal. I should have my head examined. I begged all my friends four years ago when I stopped breeding horses, "Please shoot me if I ever even MENTION that I would like to have another foal." Obviously that didn't work. So...3 weeks from now I will be camping out with PJ - or at the very least setting my alarm clock every 2 hours to check on her. I have played this game before (watching mares when they are due to foal) and thought I was too old to do it anymore. Obviously I was wrong. Stay tuned......

This 18 X 24 painting I painted as a little painting last week and sold it immediately to a patron and decided to do it again, larger, and offer it at one of my galleries. I call it "Rebel" referring to the one horse or friend or family member who always seems to be always going in the opposite direction...And I just noticed that 5 distinct horse colors are represented: bay, paint, palomino, sorrel, and gray. I have owned every one myself but the gray. PJ will be giving birth to a paint (and yes, I have offended a number of Quarter Horse people by desecrating my mare with a paint, but they'll get over it!) I kinda like paints.
Job 33:7
No fear of me should alarm you, nor should my hand be heavy upon you.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

High Tail

5 X 7 Oil on Masonite $50
This is another of "Easy's" gyrations. It's worth locking him up overnight so I can see new funny acrobatics when I turn him loose! I really expect to see a back flip some day - he is sooo happy to be released! And if I allow Georgia, my dog, to run with him, I see even more ridiculous antics.
Malachi 4:2
But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.

Studio Update: Plumber has tied into the house water supply. In doing so, he left us with a tiny leak where he connected into the line at one of the hot water heaters. We didn't notice it until late that evening. It's fixed now - one more snafu and potential disaster avoided.
We have 2 of 6 windows installed. These are really cool Pella windows with the blinds inside. No more dusting blinds! The ones on the front are transoms and the large one on the side is a 5 foot square picture that does not open.
Mike and I ordered plumbing fixtures and one of the sinks yesterday. And we looked at fans. The placement of electrical outlets were decided, as well as where to put the track lights that will illuminate the walls that will display paintings. My main work area will have a drop-down lighting system that will allow for various kinds of fixtures. We will order the yellow pine boards for the ceiling this week - they can go in as soon as the electrician wires the lighting.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hurry Up!

8 X 6 Oil on Masonite $125.00
I know you have all been in this situation - the hurried-up you need to go, the slower the rest of the tag-a-longs seem to go! I started to paint this with a grass-fire in the background to emphasize the need for speed. I may add that to the larger version. Or possibly a threatening thunderstorm (hence the slicker).
With all the high winds we are experiencing in the Southwest, grass fires are a daily threat and on my mind constantly. Monday we had really high winds and I could smell smoke late in the afternoon. So in the midst of building the studio, I have all available hoses with nozzles pulled around to the North West side of the house - at the ready. With an exposed wood structure I feel so vulnerable.
2 Peter 3:12
as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Room With A View - Part Two

8 X 10 Oil on Canvas Board - SOLD
Boy, did I boo-boo. I sold one painting twice! OOPS. I sold the first painting like this one Saturday morning, and I failed to mark it sold on the blog. Another very kind, understanding patron sent me money for it that afternoon. Fortunately, she was very gracious and even said to keep the money and paint another whenever! Well, I am ready to paint this large, and I know me - once I do it large, I won't want to do it small again. So I got busy this morning and in true Daily Painter fashion, worked on it until it was finished - in one day! And I think I may like this one better. I am certain that I discovered a couple things I need to modify in the big one, as well, so the exercise in boo-boos was worth it.
I have discovered through my whole life, that events first conceived as disasters always result in triumphs, given time.
Joshua 21:45
Not one of all the LORD's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

Friday, February 22, 2008

End of Day - Big Bend Parking Lot

That is not a very imaginative or romantic title for this painting, but it is what it is. This is the end of the RV lot at Big Bend. Turn right and go home. Turn left and hike to the Rio Grande. And as unbelievable as it may seem, it rained! And then the sun came out. And we reveled in it.
That part of Texas had a wonderfully wet summer 2 years ago and we were there to enjoy some of it. It was hot and dusty several hours later, but we still got to enjoy the blessing of rain.
Another lesson in geography for the Texas uninitiated: Big Bend National Park is in the far South West reaches of Texas and consists of over 800,000 acres of extreme topography: from desert to river basin to high moutain rain forest. The vistas are endless and the remote location makes you feel as is you have stepped away from civilization and journeyed far farther that you have in actuality.
It takes a lot of effort and planning to get there - even for those of us who LIVE in Texas. I am looking forward to going back there, though, because we barely scratched the surface on our first visit.
Psalm 36:6
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
(There are over 300 mentions of mountains in the Bible - could this be one reason why so many people are attracted to them???)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Room With A View

8 X 10 Oil on Canvas Board $125 SOLD
This is a composition study for a larger (16 X 20) painting. I like most of it, but I may make the background less busy - and/or add a few buffalo. The cowboy needs a story, too. But I like the rocks, so they will probably stay the same. Does the cowboy need a dog?
Nearly every little painting I have painted lately is already on a larger canvas, in various stages of completion, and I will post them later. I have been asked to paint for a gallery in Blanco, and they are in need of larger paintings - "Over the Mantel" paintings, they are called. For those unfamiliar with Texas, Blanco is on Hwy 281 between San Antonio and Fredericksburg - in spectacular Hill Country - the very heart of Texas. It's a great tourist area and quite popular in late March and April when the bluebonnets are in bloom. I always look forward to at least one RV trip in that direction every year.
Proverbs 26:17
Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rebel - There's One In Every Crowd

8 X 6 Oil on Masonite $125 SOLD
We all have a friend like this. Four of you want Mexican food - the rebel wants Italian. Ya'll want tickets to Jerry Jeff Walker, SHE wants Snoopy on Ice. You know them. Wants to be a part of the bunch, yet stands apart on most issues. There's at least one in every crowd. So it is with this horse - he's always pointed in a different direction - on the opposite side of the pasture - standing in the rain when the rest of them are under cover. Last to come up for dinner, the first to find the gate unlatched. There's nothing wrong with being a rebel. I have even been known to be one. But now in my "old age" I believe in being more careful in picking my battles. I leave rebellions to the youth...
We received wonderful rain this weekend, and Monday and Tuesday have been glorious. The tiny bluebonnet plants down the driveway are peeking at the sun and I am expecting great things from them by my birthday in March. I have also been contacted by a large gallery in Blanco, Texas who wants my Texas/Western themed paintings. I have only visited with the owner on the phone, but I am making plans to visit in person in the very near future. I don't have very many large paintings at the moment - all are in the gallery in Thurber. And the studio is only about 1/4 completed. But at least I HAVE a place to paint - however cramped.
I like how this one turned out and WILL be painting this as a 20 X 24 for the gallery....
2 Chronicles 32:8
With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles." And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Gallery Opening/Studio Update

The gallery opening went very well with an attendance of over 100 people. Nearly everyone walked out with something, and I sold a painting to a lovely couple from Granbury. I think she teaches at Tarleton, so it is likely that I will run into her again.
The studio progressed this week - all before we got over 2 inches of rain Friday night and Saturday. The ceiling peak inside will be around 19 feet - I will have a HUGE wall to hang paintings! There is also 2 large closets and a bathroom and space above them and the entrance for display and storage. I will soon have to go shopping for fixtures and doors and paint and the wood burning stove. The floor will be a dark slate and I will continue with a gray to neutral color palette with the intention of the paintings themselves being the main source of color. My original intention was to leave the brick wall, as well, but now I am considering painting it, too, since it is so red.
I will be painting and posting on eBay this afternoon!

Saturday, February 16, 2008


11 X 14 on Stretched Canvas $125.00
This painting depicts what is obviously a young horse that doesn't know how to stop yet. I have been on many like this, and it's bone jarring, believe me. Stiff legged front end, head in the air - and still wearing a hackamore. I wouldn't have had the nerve to ride him in the open yet - not without a "good stop" on him! But this guy did and survived long enough for an image!
This little painting is a fun piece and a bit of a different direction for me. It still has a horse and cowboy, but the palette and technique have variations. I used only 3 colors and white. Doug Prine teaches a very limited palette (with no black, of course) which I am familiar with, but don't always adhere to.
I am no different from many artists - searching for that magical tube of color that adds instant "pop" and satisfaction. Sometimes I think I need to just throw away everything that isn't a part of the basics - like life, we always seems to think that just one more thing will make it perfect.....
Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ute Indian Child

9 X 12 Ute Child Portrait $125

I have been in class all day. My study time with Doug Prine has been quite helpful. Doug is an extremely generous man and goes beyond the basics to share his expertise and knowledge and love of art. He is one of the few artists I have met who has actually made a living from art all his life. And the way he lovingly speaks of his supportive wife of over 40 years – he registered a plus in my book.

I am not a portrait painter, but Doug challenged us to do things we are not normally comfortable doing. So I have painted portraits this week. This one is still unfinished, but I will post it completed - some day!
I came home to hammering into the night. The weather is supposed to turn bad tomorrow and the builder wants to get the roof covered in tar paper just in case. This is the most conscientious builder I have ever met. He is a slave driver, but he pays his employees well and doesn’t ask them to do anything he’s not doing himself. He cleans up every day and asks questions regularly to make sure he is doing what we want. He is meticulous about getting everything perfect, too – perfectly straight, perfectly clean, perfectly aligned…and his suggestions for change, when appropriate are good, too.
The highest peak of the studio roof will be 19 feet inside – I will have gloriously high walls to display paintings – BIG ONES! I have always wanted to paint big and now I will be able to. Might not be able to ship or sell them, but the opportunity will be here!

Proverbs 3:6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Workshop Study

9 X 12 oil on Stetched Canvas $125

I have had the BEST day today. I am attending a 3-day workshop given by Doug Prine ( and I learned so much today, that I can hardly wait for tomorrow. I only got to paint about a hour, but I tried several new techniques and color mixing, and I know tomorrow will be sensational. We paint ALL DAY! AND I sold the painting that was posted 2 days ago! Thank you, Christina!

Doug has built a real old-time western town where he allows cowboy shout-outs regularly (and photographers and artists can come). AND yearly he hosts a 3-day weekend for photographer/artists where he invites Native Americans and cowboys and chuckwagons and mountain men and tents and longhorns and everything Western to come stay and be models for us artists who love the old west. Needless to say, I am now on his list for next year....

When I got home, the builders were raising the 2nd roof rafter beam for the studio. It makes me nervous to watch them raise a 500+ pound hunk of wood, but they got it up and into place securely - without hurting anyone or anything. Now the rest of the roof should proceed rapidly - weather permitting.

We had high winds and hail night before last about 3:30 am. No damage, but I sympathized with my poor horses out in the open. They are banned from the pasture with the barn shelter in it, because the fence is down to allow the builders in and out. Their only shelter right now is some pitiful mistletoe-laden mesquites and dead liveoaks in the south pasture. Okay, okay, I know - they are HORSES, but I still like to pamper them!

Proverbs 21:9 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Bigamist

8 X 6 Oil on Masonite $50 SOLD

I live in a rural area between the towns of Stephenville, Morgan Mill and Bluff Dale, Texas. I am closest to Morgan Mill, but I have a Bluff Dale address and a Stephenville phone number. Our closest neighbor (200 yards as the crow flies, but a mile away by road) has a Bluff Dale number. I love the idiosyncrasies of this area, particularly the chickens that have the run of “downtown Morgan Mill” – which is about 1.8 miles from me. They supposedly belong to a man in town, but they pretty much have free rein to roam. My daughter lives in Morgan Mill, and I wish she would encourage the chickens to lay eggs at her place. I doubt that is possible, though, because chickens tend to be very loyal to their nesting area. There are several roosters, and all have a harem that they vigorously protect and guard from other roosters. This handsome fellow actually has the most hens at the moment, but I only painted 2 of them this time. This is my first attempt at painting poultry but I think I will probably do more…

Jeremiah 17:11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay is the man who gains riches by unjust means. When his life is half gone, they will desert him, and in the end he will prove to be a fool.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Is Dinner Late?

8 X 6 Oil on Masonite $100 SOLD
I could feed "Easy" 10 times a day and I would still get this "look" as he's standing over his empty feed pan. So pathetic. If you have horses, you know that they are predominately directed by their appetite - and most are insatiable. If a horse gets free choice of grain, he usually will eat until he gets sick - and for horses that often means laminitis or colic - both potentially fatal. Easy is no different. And he's a sloppy eater, spilling grain all around the pan. My other horse, PJ, puts her face into the bucket and keeps it there until the grain is gone - no mess. Easy grabs a mouthful, lifts his head, looks around, spills grain, paws the bucket and often even picks it up - spilling grain everywhere. Such a slob - but he always brings a smile to my face. Does he even have a clue as to how grand his life is - a race horse who didn't want to run....?
Matthew 25:37 "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Studio Update

I have done very little painting this week - but I have sold 2 large ones!!!! And both were to repeat buyers. It takes a lot of trust to buy a painting sight unseen from someone you have never met - or seen their paintings in person, and I am amazed at the people who do. But once they have seen how much BETTER paintings look in reality, they gain confidence repeat purchasing. That is happening to me more and more So to you wonderful people out there who have not only bought one painting but come back again to buy more, I say thanks and God bless you!

The studio has the north side of the roof up and decked. My little blind Pomeranian, Kibble, likes to follow me out there and lay in the sun while I sweep up nails and sawdust. I am encouraging her to "go to the studio" and get her accustomed to the new room and the way to get there. She understands "step" and walks carefully when I instruct her, so she is learning the route and the steps she must go up and down. Kibble lost her sight suddenly about a year ago (SARDS) and went through a terrible depression, but we still take her camping - on a leash, of course - and we are trying to keep her stimulated in as many ways as possible. She is only 8, so I expect to have her around for many more years. She is very attached to me also, which makes it difficult to leave her with anyone other than a close family member.

We are in Lent right now, and I , like so many others, am using this season to improve my health by counting calories and increasing my activity. Like another Daily Painter, I have been walking and counting my steps - with a goal of 10,000 per day - which translates roughly into about 4 1/2 miles. My church is 2 miles from home, so I walked home today after the service, and as long as the weather cooperates, I will continue to do that. It's a wonderful opportunity to continue my communication with God and plan the week, something I used to do during my 40 minute daily commute to work. AND I get nearly half my steps in!

3 John 1:2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Studio Update

We have rafters - the beginning of the roof. I didn't get much painting done yesterday - had to go to the gallery and trade some paintings. The grand opening is coming up and I needed to be sure the mailing list was correct. I also have several paintings listed on eBay and will be posting more soon:

I haven't posted on eBay recently, but I need to get some pieces moved and I find this is a good way to let you pick up something from me at an excellent price.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

How Straight the Gate in Big Bend

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite
contact artist for availability

It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishments, the scroll. I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.
My father used to quote this last stanza from William Ernst Henley's poem "Invictus", and for some reason it has been rolling around in my head lately. I don't think Henley was a Christian, because within the poem he mentions "horror of the shade" which to me implies no life after death. In fact, if I remember right, Henley was a humanist and his poem was considered blasphemy. Now I am wondering why my Daddy liked the poem so much....hmmmmm.
This painting is a combination of two places - the gate was seen in Wyoming and the buttes are from Big Bend, Texas - I have created my own little place here - much as I am doing in the new studio, which now has a roof ridge!

Matthew 25:21 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstances,
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeonings of chance,
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears,
Looms but the horror of the shade.
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

President Reagan

8 X 10 Watercolor Not For Sale
This is one of the very few paintings I have done that was not from one of my own photos. President Reagan was a wonderful statesman, a delighful humorist, a brilliant thinker and a skilled horseman. I always enjoyed his speeches and his off-the-cuff comments to the press.
I wish there were another man like him today because I am having trouble with most of the current candidates running for the presidency. In fact, it's looking like I will have no one to vote for! In any event, it looks as if the coming term will be one of extremes, that's for sure. I just pray this nation can survive....
Mark 13:20 If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


4 X 6 Oil on Masonite SOLD
Commissions Welcome

This adorable dog is half Cocker Spaniel and half King Charles Cavalier and he belongs to my daughter, Merideth. He is lively, intelligent and beautiful. And true to his breed, he loves water. And he loves to visit us on the farm.

The studio is coming along quite well. My painting time, however, has lessoned. Yesterday's unusually warm weather mandated that I get outside. I picked up trash along our road and got in 14,000 steps for the day - which amounted to nearly 6 miles. I WILL be in walking shape for out trip this summer.

Here is a quick tour of the studio as it is (click twice to play):

Thank you, Lord, for the rain we received this morning around 3:30 am. My morning walk was wet and humid, and enjoyed all the more with puddles we had to avoid!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Elk Cow II

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite
Available on Ebay
This is the same Colorado elk cow that I painted earlier - the one that chased me back to the RV and in the door after I got a little too close to her baby calf. She was as big as my horse, so I suspect she could have done some damage if she caught me. Speaking of damaging wildlife, my neighbor down the road got gored and beat up by a whitetail buck Friday. It's rutting season and a normally tame deer became infuriated at my neighbor while he was feeding him (and the rest of the herd). The deer butted him to the ground, punctured his leg, missing the femoral artery by an inch and generally beat the crud out of him until he crawled under the feed trough. Jim spent the night in the hospital, and I suspect the buck is in someone's freezer by now. You never know when Mother Nature might go berserk. I have been warned about deer this time of year, and now I believe it.
The studio is progessing nicely with most walls up - I believe beams will arrive Monday. In an effort to clean up the clutter, I am listing on eBay a number of little paintings that I have listed here and several that are simply practices. Go here to see this one and others and maybe even make a bid to win:
Proverbs 3:29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Prickly Pear by the Rio Grande

16 X 20 Oil on Canvas SOLD

A recent trip to Del Rio resulted in many, many photos of prickly pear cactus. In my opinion the plant is quite attractive in a sculptural sort of way. I really like the twists and turns the "leaves" take in an effort to get the most from sunlight. I know several ladies in my community who make jelly from the fruit, too, but it takes more effort than I care to muster. And the thorns are the devil to deal with!

Matthew 13:39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels..

Studio is progressing nicely. By the end of yesterday, most of the lower framing had been completed. Two ceiling beams are required because the span is quite long (38 feet) and a decision was made regarding their placement. How the bathroom and closet tie in to the ceiling was another decision. AND what to do with the vent in the brick wall. It looks like we'll need another 500 bricks, too. I need to start thinking about cabintry and countertops and fixtures. As soon as the windows are installed and off the front porch, I'll probably hit Home Depot or Lowes.
The addition's roof line is the same in front as the existing house, but we are going to bite the bullet and reroof the entire house with metal - so we don't have to be concerned with matching the existing composition shingles. The house is nearly 12 years old - this ought to be the last roof for us.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Dust Storm Coming

8 X 6 Oil on Masonite $100
I finished and renamed this little painting - partly because of the wind we have endured for the past couple days. I believe half of Lubbock, Texas is now in my house and on my furniture and floors! We have had unbelieveable wind and dust and the resulting grass fires that it causes.

Back to Pasture

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $100
This little painting is not quite done, but I thought I'd post it for now and re-post the finished version this evening. This log cabin is reported to be the oldest structure in Erath County still standing on its original foundation. It and a barn constructed around the same time sit on property owned by a friend who lives about 4 miles from me. My daughter, Merideth, and I were useing it as a background for some photography work we did this weekend and I can't resist painting it as well. I'm not sure where the cowboy is headed - perhaps to the barn to saddle up - maybe the ride is over and horse is being walked back to his pasture....
Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!