End of the Year and in Transition

Works in Progress.
When all the running around slows down from the summer and the night time darkness stretches over parts of the day, I hunker down and start making some bigger work.  None of it is going to get done for a few more months, but here is what is cooking. 

Also, I have an opening coming up in Waukesha WI, Saturday, Jan 4th
I am teaching a Weekend Workshop on Portrait Painting in La Crosse, WI  on January 11 and 12
Click on CALENDAR OF EVENTS for details.
Happy New Year.

 DiSciascio's Restaurant,  Oil on Canvas, 20 x 30 inches.
This is a painting of the interior of DiSciascio's Restaurant in Coon Valley, WI. Andy and I discovered this place only a few years ago and immediately got sucked into the people and atmosphere. Now, we know that it is closing and so I decided to plant myself at the end of the bar and paint the joint.  One by one we are getting all the key players painted in. Obviously there is Lou, then Gloria, Kyle, and Nick. Marty still needs to be put in on the other end of the bar, crunching numbers. We are getting requests for prints and so I will make sure to have some made.

Lydia, Arcylic on Canvas, 50 x 28 inches.
This is Lydia. She is the latest in my Pearl Street Project series. I'd say we are about half way done.  Christmas slowed our sittings down but we'll pick back up after school starts. 

 Noah's Ark, Oil on canvas, 33 x 60 inches
                                                                                                                                                                                                  You always see paintings of the outside of Noah's Ark but never the inside. This is a commission from Calvary Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee. Andy and I got married there this last September and we traded our wedding ceremony for a painting.  This image is from the inner workings of the brain of Paster Mark McDonough. He told me what he pictured in his mind and we are painting to his vision. It's really a great release to paint from nothing essentially, no model, no stillife, just the thin air.


Wondrous Display, Sold

Two Stalks

It's time for everything to pop. The garden is pushing on, making leaps and bounds after such a strange spring. I found giant turnips where there were none before and I feel I am going crazy.  The art festival season, too, is in full season.  In this case, nature is against me. Just when I am at my busiest is when all the amazing things start to happen. I will be hurrying to finish a task, just in time to find an awesome dragonfly or spot a new flower to paint. But now I have so little time to do it and my days end with me feeling guilty because of not accomplishing all I desire.  Why is winter so  long and slow? This is torture.
Unfurling Ferns

Glowing Red

Juvenile Robin

Robin's Egg

Ice Fishing

Fish Collection. This is going to be the official Poster for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl coming to Milwaukee in April.

Female Brown trout out of Lake Michigan with the help of a Mr. Eric Haataja.

First Northern brought through the ice on a tip-up in the Mississippi River.

Tiny perch.

Digging for Potatoes

Digging for Potatoes

Hours Old


The Runt


Turtle Parade

Last week, Andy and I decided to split up the house and garden chores and so he went off the dig up our potatoes and I forget what I was supposed to do but shortly after starting, Andy called me over to see what he had discovered in the dirt.  I looked down and noticed the soil moving around in spooky sort of way and it took a second to register what we were seeing.  It turns out that he had come upon a turtle nest just as it was hatching. There they all were, 14 of them, some out of their eggs, some still in and a few in transition.  It as amazing to see. Andy just started laughing, to me he says, "I know what you are doing the rest of the day, get painting!"  So we gathered them in trays and gave them some water and sure as anything, I panted all 14.  We let them go in the river a few at a time and only one didn't make it, the runt.  I still cannot get over how miraculous the timing was in this venture. amazing.

Door County Plien Air Competition

I know that these aren't be best photographs of these but they are what I have.
I must say that I was so excited about doing this show all year. I meant so much to be able to attend. It was hard to put it into words but a friend helped me figure it out. I was  so important because from sun up to sun down, my only role was artist.  I wasn't responsible fro anything but  myself and what I made and although that intensity was heavy, it was also very pure and freeing.

Plein Air Workout

Amish Sunday

Genoa Bluff

Stubborn tree and house

So, I have to prepare for this coming Door County Plein Air event in July. Here are some of my better attempts.  If there is one thing I have learned from dating a hard-core plein air painter, it is that I am just not built for exposing myself to the elements for the sake of art.  If I am cold- then that is all I can think about, if the sun and wind dry out my paint - then I get furious, and God help me if there are mosquitoes. 

I much prefer my portrait painting ventures, where I go into some one's comfy house, they ask if I want coffee, I say 'yes, thank you' and we sit, enjoy each others' company and I get to paint. Doesn't that sound so much better? Oh, but where's the romance in that? We must suffer as artists,  paint while standing in the pounding rain, work for hours in a dingy studio with bad lighting and no heat and be a slave to our overwhelming desire to create, no matter what the circumstances. 

Yes, I take cream and sugar, you are too kind.