DPW Challenges

DPW Challenges

Moonlit-RavenSometimes when I can’t decide on a daily painting to start I’ll look through the daily painting challenges at Daily Paintworks (DPW). It’s not because I have hit the dreaded artist block, it usually cause I cannot narrow it down or focus. Sometimes it’s a technique I want to improve on or a palette I would like to limit myself to, OR it just cause I love a challenge.

It’s never been said that I am not competitive. It’s not even so much that I want to compete against another. It’s more about rising to the challenge.

If it's challenging you, testing you, and pushing you... then it's helping you become more of who you're meant to be. -Mandy Hale

If it’s challenging you, testing you, and pushing you… then it’s helping you become more of who you’re meant to be. -Mandy Hale

This particular challenge: The Raven challenge  is to paint this black Raven by mixing your own blacks.
The important thing is to have interesting values, reflective colors and some blacks to describe it.

I created black using Ultramarine Blue dark with Burnt Umber. I didn’t use the given image of a raven but another I had found on Pinterest.

To my pleasant surprise this morning, i found it had been chosen as a DPW Facebook pick and a DPW auction pick!

Review of Paint the Peninsula

Review of Paint the Peninsula

This post takes place over a full week…and as the judge Jim Lamb said, “Art is a very subjective subject”.

The “Paint the Peninsula” plein aire competition  is in full swing on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington

By invitation 30 artists are juried and chosen. Artists are required to paint en plein aire at various locations throughout the Olympic Peninsula throughout the week. Each artist summits six paintings and participate in the quick draw competition. The winners of the competition will be announced at a reception at Port Angles Fine Arts Center with the artists, Saturday evening.

Sandy Newman

Sandy Newman

On Tuesday we met Sandy Newman at the John Wayne Marina painting a beautiful sea and landscape. She graciously told me about her painting and some of the event details.
I was intrigued by her brushstrokes and the. Nuances of color she achieved through well place color and direction of the strokes. The painting of the coastline was in my top three of the entire event. Somehow I failed to get a photo.

sculpture gardens @ Peninsula fine arts Center

sculpture gardens @ Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

Friday went by the Port Angles Fine Arts Center to view the artwork that had been submitted so far. I was blown away, inspired to paint and incredibly impressed by the eyes of others.

Farmers market demo with Emiliya Lane

Farmers market demo with Emiliya Lane

Saturday morning at Port Angeles farmers market two artist were demonstrating their plein aire skills. Emiliya Lane was very approachable and clearly at ease showing how it’s done. Depicting a scene in a few short hours, usually paired within a 2-3 hour period, before the lighting changes dramatically.

I also met Jeanne Edwards there a very talented local artist, with a warm smile and encouraging spirit. Later at the reception while admiring her paintings she had some very encouraging words for this budding artist.

Saturday evening we attended the reception at the art center.

Jane Wallis, Third prize.

Jane Wallis, Third prize.

Third place was awarded to Jane Wallace. The judges comments, Structure of design, movement of brushwork, loose quality, how it reads. Dynamic

Ned Mueller

Ned Mueller

  • Ned Mueller recieved 2nd place the judges insights, Percpective takes the viewer back into distance, grays warm and cool juxtaposed to bright colors…

    Bruce Gomez

    Bruce Gomez

  • Bruce Gomez is the first prize winner. Jim’s  pronouncement,Bruce is an expert pastel colorist, Great composition -large simplified masses with the finesse of strong light and detail.
  • Best in Show
  • Best in show went to Eric Jacobson the judge based his choice on, the most impressive body of work.Exemplifies confidence with brushstrokes, a decisive stroke laid down with confidence in the right color temperature and value. Simple statement,  strong in technique, color and statement.

Our dear friends purchased two paintings that evening,

and John and I were torn trying to choose a favorite we could both agree on. I have a couple still in the back of my mind I will seek out when I sell a couple more myself 🙂 Some of my favorites were by,

Jeanne Edwards

Ken Faulks

Maria Josenhans

Emiliya Lane 

Susan Ogilive 

Gretha Linwood

Sandy Newman

visit their sites you’ll be rewarded by beautiful images.

The festivities continued on Sunday with a family day, face painting, young artists painting a mural various set ups for demos and a food cart. The demos were fun to watch different artists approaches, perspectives and techniques while painting the same subject. There was nice still life set up with sunflowers  pumpkins and gourds on blue plaid. Two models were hired to pose in the meadow under the shade trees.

I was once again inspired by the event and impressed by the caliber of artists present. I took my sketchbook and felt welcomed by the other artists, though I am a beginner and, I even received some praise for my drawing! Though these were accomplished artist they most seemed to welcome my curiosity and questions. They seemed to have developed a strong camaraderie throughout the week, making the overall event a plesant one.

the golfball

the golfball

#7 of 30the-golf-ball One of our favorite outings as a family, when we all together in  Sequim, WA is       sea glass hunting. I’d tell you where we go on the Olympic Peninsula but I’d have to kill ya.  It’s not really that big a secret but folks like to act like it is.

One particular trip our Westie, Sadie found a golf ball on the beach. She loves to fetch a ball more than anything on earth! For some reason she had the hardest time getting this ball in her mouth, so she would start to dig. The more she’d dig the farther the ball would sink into the sand and the harder it was to get. This chase, pounce, dig and bark was repeated over and over as we went down the beach gathering sea glass. I think she slept for two days after that outing, because she gave it all she had.

I was inspired to paint this scene, my dear SIL Jess captured, after being so inspired by the Paint the Peninsula plein aire competition. Though it wasn’t painted en plain aire,  it does  contain a seascape, an added element to my favorite subject animals. By the way Sadie is my favorite animal.

This painting is available at auction, here.


Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren

#6 of 30cactus-wren

The cactus wren is the state bird of Arizona, my new residence. They live in saguaros so they are more rare to see in Tubac, a high desert town.

I am a bit behind on to 30 in 30 challenge this cactus wren is #6 but it should be #13. I am happy with the end result of this painting.

It is available for auction here. check it out, place a bid 🙂

I am happy to say this painting has sold.

How to feel humble

How to feel humble

Humble enough to know I'm not better than anybody and wise enough to know that I'm different from the rest.

Humble enough to know I’m not better than anybody and wise enough to know that I’m different from the rest.

  1. step out of your comfort zone
  2. open your true self up to the public
  3. commit yourself to a daily challenge
  4. expose yourself by being held accountable to said challenge
  5. believe that if many can do it, you can do it too.

Maybe it’s my rebellious nature to fight the “have to” Or Maybe it’s  the quality of work I want to produce, coupled with my experience, it is just not attainable in consecutive 24 hour periods to complete a painting.  Both times I have set out to do a daily painting challenge, I’ve gotten really frustrated. Frustrated that my paintings don’t seem to come out the way I have pictured. I can’t seem to mix the color I am looking for or make the stroke curve just so. Maybe its because of the time constraint, I don’t take long enough to observe the subject, plan and execute the plan. The time constraint also limits one (with my experience) with a very simple subject, so I tend to try small uninspired still life paintings.

I have decided to be a little gentler on myself, paint daily, yes. Paint a completed painting everyday, I would want to share with the World Wide Web, maybe.

When I look at the progress I have made in my drawing skills, observational skills, and knowledge of the materials, I can see I have made giant steps on my journey to becoming an artist. The drawing on the left I drew in August 2013 the one on the right July 2014.




Practicing, painting, sketching, reading, about art everyday for the past 6 months have pushed me far. No reason to get a discouraged because I signed up for a challenge. Maybe I am not ready to succeed at this challenge, yet, but I will keep trying because it’s something I am passionate about.

the master has failed




#5 of 30

I joined another challenge,

The Value Over Color Challenge:

This challenge is to take a subject and ignore the local color (the actual color of the objects) and to insert value choices and shapes instead. It is fun to swap out what you know to be true and just see value and shape instead. You will find interesting combinations and you may want to try it more than once. I did this in a low key but I also experimented with higher keys where I have more difficulty choosing correct value.

This challenge is over on Daily Paintworks, a dedicated group of artists, displaying and offering affordable original artworks. My art will be for sale through this site. Pop on over and have a look.

I gonna have to pull double duty to complete my 30 in 30 challenge since I am now behind by 4 paintings. it’s not that I haven’t painted each day in September but that a couple of the results have been rubbish. My goal is to make art everyday, if that means half the time I have something worth sharing, so be it.

Maldon & Apple

Maldon & Apple

#4 of 30

Lesson of the day:

  1. the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.
    “a perspective drawing”

Amazing how posting your daily art can make one self conscious. As I look at the photograph of today’s painting, which I was reasonably happy with, I see multiple mistakes with perspective.

It’s something I have always found difficult to convey, it seems to jump out instantly in inorganic subjects. Maybe thats why I have enjoyed drawing animals and handmade objects. Organic creatures and objects don’t have straight or parallel lines or right angles.

hmm…it makes me think

Ex. Matisse P.262-226

The Window- Henri Matisse

Matisse deliberately skewed perspective how come his art doesn’t appear amateurish? Please share your thoughts.




Mortgage Lifter day 3 of 30 in September 2014 edition

Mortgage Lifter day 3 of 30 in September 2014 edition


Mortgage Lifter

#3 of 30

I met a young man at the Sequim Farmers market, he was telling some other shoppers about his heirloom varieties of tomatoes. I heard Cherokee purple and my ears perked up, I am from the south. Southern homegrown tomatoes cannot be beat! I love living in the Pacific Northwest in the summers, its incredible. Other than my family the main thing I miss is homegrown tomatoes. We struck up a quick conversation and I learned he was a southern boy, Georgia to be exact. He knew about Grainger county tomatoes.

I came home with two mortgage lifters and two cherokee purple, affectionately known as black tomatoes. There are reason the heirloom varieties became special, and a reason they are not grown much commercially, Their flavor is unbeatable,but they don’t have much a shelf life. The Cherokee purples were eaten that night the mortgage lifter got a reprieve because my dear husband took me out to eat the next night.

Mortgage lifter was developed by M.C. Byles of Logan, West Virginia. After crossing varieties for 6 years and selecting the best, he introduced this beauty that he named Mortgage Lifter in the 1940’s after he sold plants for $1 each and paid off the $6,000 mortgage on his house.

The painting I made of the mortgage lifter is oil on an 8 x10 panel. I hope you enjoy.

Sidenote: the cherry tomatoes on the vine our from our side garden.