Work in Progress- the Wimberly piece. Here's a link to the blog I've been using. I'll try to remember to post links here occasionally.
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Tucked Away In Tivydale

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Another Rodeo Painting, Sketching It In

I don't have a title for this one yet...


This is so much fun, I can hardly stand it!!! The sketch still needs some tweaking, but its pretty much in. My references for this piece came from two separate photos (I am pretty sure Nick took them both). The images matched up beautifully. I had taken a shot of the heeler's, guy on the right, team that showed both the header and heeler doing their thing, but my image was way too blurry and the heeler in the photo I used has a much better stance.


Oooo. I just realized that I need to tilt the steer's head just a bit... he looks a little too stationary.

Also thinking about setting the areana wall more at an angle. It's flatlining. Can you hear it? Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!


Tomorrow night I will continue adding values, make some changes, and then get crackin' on the really fun stuff--- blocking it in!


Man, I love my job!



Oh! And here's one I sketched out last night and started blocking in this morning.

Close Only Counts in Horseshoes and Handgrenades



He missed. And his horse came to a dead stop!

This piece still needs some adjusting too. The rider's legs seem too short (i didn't see that until I took the photo), and the horse looks a little on the fluffy side instead of the lean mean power machine that it was. With the odd initial brushstrokes goin in at the moment, he looks like a plastic pony! Hahaha! 

I'll be interested to see if this one turns out.


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Well, Yippie-Kai-Yay, Y'all!

Pick Up Man

12"x 9"

oil on linen panel


Nick's parents gave us tickets to the San Antonio Rodeo for Christmas. They weren't just any seats, though, they were front and center, and absolutely perfect! We were up against the fence and covered with dirt from flying hooves- it was awesome!

Thank you again, John and Sylvia!!!!!

I had never been to a rodeo before, so this was a real experience. We took two cameras and extra batteries, and ended up with a gajillion amazing reference photos, and I want to paint them all right now!


I rarely paint people and animals, but with images like these, I am ready to expand my horizons. I used to spend hours and hours learning to draw horses when I was a little girl. A little bit of that practice from years and years ago seems to have stuck around. I have so much to learn! Man, I love my job!!!!


This little piece was a lot of fun. I got to flash my artistic license here and there.... take out a cowboy here, put in a little sumpin' sumpin' there. Its good practice. The purpose of this painting was more of a test run than anything else. I was wondering if I could pull off a larger piece, but was feeling a little intimidated. I will be starting a 24"x 36" rodeo painting this week. I combined some reference photos of roping teams and am soooo loving it!

Planning on starting another c'boy practice painting today.

Palomino Patrol, here I come!

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Finding Peace Within the Chaos

Old Flock Ranch

30"x 40"

oil on canvas


Funny how something so busy can still impart a sense of peace.

I like this one.


Now.... what to paint next? Hoping to get some good reference photos at the rodeo on Thursday, but I have a whole 'nuther day 'till etween now and then, and I am anxious to get cracking on another painting!


God, I love my job!!! 


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30"x 40"

Here's the piece I am working on right now. Old Flock Ranch again, but a different spot. All blocked in and close to being finished. I like the way it is coming out! So much fun!!!! I apologize for the blurry image. Didn't have my tripod with me. Well, technically its not WITH me, its in the car. But I didn't realize that 'till just now....  and its cold out there.


I love how the painting process is pretty much just a series of corrections.


As I left my piece tonight, I took one last look and saw some more places that need adjusting. I'm sure I'll see more tomorrow, but that is the perfection of it! No one is going to pull out all of my fingernails because my painting is not perfect. I can relax, take it all in stride, and trust that I will see what needs to be done when the time is right.

The process of personal growth is the same way. We often get down on ourselves for making mistakes and the punishment can be endless. (And sadly, we are often the only ones forkin' out the harsh judgements.) The greatest thing about seeing what we don't like is IN the seeing! Once we see what needs to change, we can get down to business.

Change means work, but just like the act of painting, the beauty is in the process.


I love to see a painting in progress, and I am coming to love seeing my own... especially AFTER I make it through a particularly trying piece of inner work! Hahahaha!


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The Importance of Being Earnest

earnest 1 |ˈərnist|
resulting from or showing sincere and intense conviction :

an earnest student.


Growing up, I heard that I had talent, but grew to resent the word when I felt that this so-called innate ability that I was supposed to have been born with could abandon me at any given moment. It didn't bail. I misunderstood its meaning. At the time of my "talent abandonment" I was testing this talent thing, and I found that it ceased to exist when I ignored my practice end of the bargain. So I worked harder and alakazam! "Talent" returned.

Then it bothered me when someone would throw the T word at me because I felt like they were not acknowledging all the work I had done to get to whatever point I was at. Whew! Does it sound like I was getting caught up in a whirlwind of pointless irritation? Well, you're right.

Silly, but this was the path I chose to take in order to get to the following point:


Everything boils down to DESIRE. Intense conviction.


Wallace D. Wattles says in his book "The Science of Getting Rich" that talent is a desire that has been cultivated, and that we know if we have a talent for a particular thing if we have the desire to do it.


I can't count how many times I have heard someone say "I wish I could paint, but I can't even draw stick figures!" (That statement has always rubbed me the wrong way.) Wally summed it up perfectly. Anyone who WANTS to paint, can paint. They just need to learn how... and practice, practice, practice. Many look at the work of an artist who has spent a majority of his life in the study of art and assume that he was born with something they were not. Talent is little more than a desire.


Stronger desire equals more talent.


A fellow artist posted on facebook a couple of weeks ago that if you want to become a better painter, draw more. He was right.

And paint more. And study paintings you love. And talk with other painters about painting. And get in touch with that part of you that wants to create, and let that part of you run wild!

No more excuses.


Be an earnest student of the things that bring you joy.


For me? I search for paintings that make my heart sing. I study them. I practice, practice, practice, and every time I paint I learn something new. Even if it is just "how not to paint a believable rock." Hahaha!


My goal is to improve in any way I can by following my bliss, and to enjoy my becoming. And let me tell you, it continues to be one of the most rewarding goals I have ever made.




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Old Flock Ranch Waterfall

Old Flock Ranch Waterfall

36 x 24

Oil on Canvas


I love that my job consists of eternal improvement. I have been wanting to paint scenes like this for a while now, but was not sure of where to begin. Know where I began? Every night before starting a painting session, I would get myself into a feel good state, and hold it. This baby virtually painted itself because I stepped out of my own way and enjoyed the process!


I had a bit of a shocking realization the other day. I was wondering why I didn't feel more of a connection to my finished pieces, then it hit me. Painting is all about the process, so I have no more use for the painting once it is finished. Now- I'm not saying it is useless, it still puts food on the table and pays my car insurance, but I gain nothing by falling so deeply in love with my own work that I hoard it. I had an artist friend who did that. Her work was phenominal and she was afraid to let go of all her babies, so they sat in her living room gathering dust as her creative spirit dried up.


Moral of the story: Get those puppies out the door as fast as you can so your muse can breathe! Hahaha!


The entire act of letting go, whether it be a painting, a beloved friend, or even something intangible like a feeling or memory that no longer serves you, is the ultimate instigator in improvement. Knowing that everyone and everything comes and goes in our lives exactly when they should, has been one of my favorite experiences. 


Now, I am off to work on another painting while practicing nonresistence!


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Its All About the Process...

White Oak Ranch

30"x 40"

Oil on Canvas


Hahaha! Well, I had a whole mess of stuff written about this piece and was about to post it... but then I went back and actually read what I had written. Uh... no.

It was a jumble of sky hole talk, technique blah blah and other stuff that would probably just bore the pants off of some poor unsuspecting victim. In all reality, I don't know what I am doing. Every painting is just a learning experience for Me. So I am going to leave the instructional blogging to the more qualified. Stapleton Kearns is one of my faves, check out his blog if you need some educational meat and potatoes.


Funny thing, this painting looks all hyper detailed to me in the photos, but not so much in real life. It took me a couple of tries to get the trees going the way I wanted, but once I went back and blocked in the entire tree shapes everything fell into place. I was working wet on wet and find that I prefer it that way. I learned a lot about handling sky holes.


I have been working on paying attention to my emotions and thought patterns while painting. If I let my mind go and start wandering into some bad neighborhoods, my painting process suffers. Calvin Liang said in his December 2005 Artist Magazine interview:

"You can't make happy paintings unless you're in a happy mood." 


Awesome teacher. Modern Master.... in more than just the art world, I think. It is easy to say the words and know with your head that happy feeling equals happy paintings (not in the goofey Bob Ross sense), but to know it with every fiber of your being? I KNOW Calvin Liang understands his quote on a cellular level. Look at his paintings! They are pure joy in two dimensional form. Someday, I will have learned how to do that.


So the other night, I found myself repeating a series of brushstrokes that didn't work- no matter how many times I repeated them. (insanity) So I stopped and did a quick systems check. I realized I had been grinding my teeth on a touch of pettiness from my past, and that little jot of negativity (which was growing with every ounce of attention I gave it) was pulling me further and further from the place I wanted to be. I switched my focus, found a comfortable bit of happiness, and was back in the Zone, lickety-split! It was awesome! Just thinking about it gets me all jazzed and ready to paint some more!


My goal for this week is to be present with my thoughs and guide them back to happiness when they start to wander. Especially when, and before, and after I paint. Hehe.

I am willing to bet that if I can keep my emotions in places that make me feel good, my work will come easier and faster.






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Changing Channels

I finished this piece a month or so ago but had to wait to post it until after the new owner saw it for the first time. His wife bought it for him as a birthday gift. Changing Channels was his sailboat, and the woman standing on the boat is his mother, who passed away several years ago.

I don't normally use other people's reference photos, but in a case like this...
It was a pleasure to paint!

Happy Birthday, Matt!
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