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We are almost ready for this year’s studio cruise! This year I am participating as a guest artist at a friend’s studio — this is an experiment to see if being closer to town gives me a bigger audience and is it worth the extra work of having to transport all of my work, display materials, and refreshments, etc. to town. I will be at the studio of Pat Shough, who lives in the Lavinia area on the east side of Lake Bemidji. If you are in Bemidji, or can arrange to come here, be sure to stop and see us this Friday, Saturday or Sunday. There will be 3 artists there, so lots of art for one stop, and you will have a good time!

I have worked hard to have some new pieces for this show — I have over 20 brand new paintings that have not been exhibited before. I will post a few of them here, but remember, they always look better in person.

"Barnyard King"  Original Watercolor/mixed media

“Barnyard King” Original Watercolor/mixed media

I started a series of pet portraits called Canine Cameos and Feline Faces. Here are a couple from that series:

"Household Tiger" Original Acrylic  10"x10" on canvas

“Household Tiger” Original Acrylic 10″x10″ on canvas

"German Shepherd"  Original Acrylic   10"x10" on canvas

“German Shepherd” Original Acrylic 10″x10″ on canvas

I have also departed from animal subjects for a few of my new works, and have enjoyed portraying some of the beautiful nature found here in northern Minnesota. Here are a couple from my “Nature Close-up” series:

"Yellows I"   Original Acrylic   11"x14"   on canvas

“Yellows I” Original Acrylic 11″x14″ on canvas

"Minnesota Twins"  Original Acrylic  10"x10" on canvas

“Minnesota Twins” Original Acrylic 10″x10″ on canvas

That’s all for now — I’ll put up some of my other new works soon. I’ll leave you with a funny view of my cat, Groucho. He is always good for a laugh.

Groucho, lolling on the floor, as usual.

Groucho, lolling on the floor, as usual.

 

 

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It is hard to believe that the all too short summer is already drawing to a close. It has been busy, as it always is. We have had nights in the 40’s already, and the back-to-school sales are on in full force. I  had many fun art times this summer with my Studio 10 group and at various classes and exhibits I’ve attended. Especially fun was a workshop of Karen Knutson’s that was held at her home studio in Eden Prairie, MN. It made me want to do more watercolor painting! Thanks Karen! It was great!  Here is one of the paintings I did at her workshop.

"Moonlit"  Watercolor and mixed media 11"x15"

“Moonlit” Watercolor and mixed media 11″x15″

I also finished two commissions this summer, and both of the families were happy with my depiction of their pets. [That always makes ME happy!] Here is “Jessie”

"Jessie" 20"x16" Acrylic on canvas

“Jessie” 20″x16″ Acrylic on canvas

And here is “Ruthie”

"Ruthie""  12"x9" Pastel on velour paper

“Ruthie”” 12″x9″ Pastel on velour paper

Another piece I did was a bit of a challenge — working from my imagination instead of a photo of a real animal. My critique group put up an exhibit called ‘Dragons’ at Brigid’s Pub in Bemidji. It turned out to be a really great exhibit, which challenged us all. There is still time to see it if you are in town before Labor Day. Here is my painting:

 

"Legendary Beast" 20"x16" Acrylic/mixed media on foamcore.

“Legendary Beast” 20″x16″ Acrylic/mixed media on foamcore.

I showed this one with the frame because I thought the frame really enhanced this work. It was one I had in my inventory for a long time, waiting for the right painting to go with it. Speaking of dragons, we participated once again with the Buena Vista ski patrol to run the annual dragonboat races in Bemidji. It was another fun and successful event. If you have never watched, or been in a dragonboat race, you should try it!

Before I sign off, I want to share a couple paintings by two of my summer art students. Here is an acrylic landscape by Jenny:

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And here is a pastel painting done by Mattie:

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I have the BEST students! They do some wonderful work and I am proud to be their teacher.

I hope to squeeze some more good times in before the snow flies. (And we must get a new roof on the house too — not so fun, but needed!) Hope all you readers are having a wonderful summer.

 

 

 

Whoa! Time has a way of getting away from me. So much has happened since my last post. I will catch up on the most memorable parts —

Right after finishing my High School class in April, my husband and I took a road trip out west to visit two of our kids, and some family and friends along the way. This is one big country! Lots of miles, lots of good times. I brought a pastel portrait of my son’s dog, Kuna and gave it to him as a surprise. He said it looks just like her, so that made me happy.

Kuna

These next two paintings were my entries in the Artists of Minnesota show this spring. The one titled “Be Alert” got a merit ribbon in the Super Gold category.

"Be Alert" 30"x30" Acrylic mixed/media on canvas. [There are 5 wolves hiding in the background - can you see them?]

“Be Alert” 30″x30″ Acrylic mixed/media on canvas. [There are 5 wolves hiding in the background – can you see them?]

"BFF" 20"x16" Acrylic/mixed media on canvas.

“BFF” 20″x16″ Acrylic/mixed media on canvas.

Right after returning from the trip, I attended a week-long workshop taught by Karen Knutson. It was so fun! Learned a lot and had good visits with fellow artists. Below is one of my paintings from the workshop, taken during the final critique.

Watercolor and collage painting at Karen Knutson workshop

Watercolor and collage painting at Karen Knutson workshop

That brings me up to the end of May, and I will have to continue in the next post from there. I am glad to report that the snow did finally melt and the leaves came out. [Of course, now we have mosquitoes, but that is a whole ‘nuther story!]

 

I’ve been waiting for a slow-down after the holidays to get caught up on things — well that’s not going to happen so I’ll just have to jump in and do it. [I do have some unanticipated minutes to use today, as a snowstorm cancelled my board meeting this afternoon.]

As promised, I am going to post some photos from my pastel class that I taught last fall. I hope all my students are continuing to create, because they all did some beautiful work! [If you students see this post, write and tell me how you’re doing.]

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Our first exercise was a small portrait of an apple. They all looked good enough to eat!

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Next project was a still life. This picture shows the group’s work in progress at the end of the first class.

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We then worked on some landscapes, on Art Spectrum colourfix paper. This is Sue’s completed piece.

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Our final project was an animal portrait on velour paper. We have here Dee’s Kitty and a cute Burro by Michael. I had a fun time teaching this class, and hope to do more classes through the Bemidji Community Art Center this year. I am putting together a Black and White Media sampler [four mediums in four sessions] for this April. I am also teaching this class to High School kids from the local VEH charter school.

I took a trip out to Seattle to attend my niece Jessica’s wedding. It was a beautiful wedding and a fun time spent with family and friends. I came home to a huge snowstorm, which left nearly 18 inches of new snow on top of the 12-18 inches we already had. Lots of work involved in getting that plowed and removing snow from the roof!

Now I am putting together some upcoming exhibits here in Bemidji. My art group is hanging a new show at Brigid’s Pub for the First Friday Art Walk, which will be March 1st.  I am also helping line up artists to exhibit at the Sanford Medical Center. Keeps me busy.

Two paintings are awaiting my attention on my easels, so I hope to have some new things to post soon.

 

 

 

Looks like it is time to do some catching up again. Since I last wrote I have participated in the annual Studio Cruise, traveled to Colorado for a family gathering, taught a pastel class, and worked on various projects and artworks. Fun times, and busy, as seems the norm these days.

Here is a picture of my benches, now installed at First Lutheran Church. I think they have a very nice setting there, and it is fun to drive by and see them when I’m in town.

Commissioned benches now on site at First Lutheran Church in Bemidji.

Commissioned benches now on site at First Lutheran Church in Bemidji.

This next one is a landscape I painted as a demo for my “Intro to Pastels” class that I taught for BCAC. What a fun time we had! My students were great, and they all did so well. I hope they will all continue to work with the pastels on their own.

Beach we visited often in Nosara, Costa Rica.

Beach we visited often in Nosara, Costa Rica.

This is the animal portrait demo I did, of our cat Groucho as a kitten. [I promised to post this for my students so they could see how it looked finished, since I did not get it done during the class.]

The start -- Blocking in the background, and values on the subject.

The start — Blocking in the background, and values on the subject.

Underpainting the subject, adding color and shading.

Underpainting the subject, adding color and shading.

The finished portrait. I haven't decided on a title for it yet -- I am thinking of calling it "Little Groucho"

The finished portrait. I haven’t decided on a title for it yet — I am thinking of calling it “Little Groucho”

Next Post I will put in some of my student’s work. They all had some really nice paintings. I will be teaching another art class in March, so stay tuned for news about that too.

 

 

 

Here it is the Labor Day weekend already! This summer flew by like the wind, with lots of things happening every week. It was a busy time for my art life that is for sure! I was very happy to complete two benches which will be at First Lutheran Church in Bemidji. It was challenging to get them done because of the unusually hot weather this year, and the frequent thunderstorms when it wasn’t hot! Here is a picture of the benches the day we delivered them.

“Northwoods Evergreens” benches. They will be installed at First Lutheran Church in Bemidji.

The art group I belong to “Studio 10”, has an exhibit at the Wild Hare cafe for the month of August. Our theme for the show is “Moods and Foods”.  This was a challenge for me, as it was a bit out of my normal subject range — but challenge is good, and here is what I created for the show:

“Hot Trio” (Coffee, Tea, Cocoa) I wanted to portray the different moods that these 3 beverages evoke in this triptych. It was a fun challenge for me.

In the middle of the month I attended our Region 2 Arts Council board retreat. It was located at Ruttger’s resort here in Bemidji, and was a fun way to meet our new board members and get tuned up for the busy year of grants and art support ahead. How is this for a nice meeting room?

Meeting locale at Ruttger’s resort, on Lake Bemidji.

We’ve been having family and friends visiting now that the kitchen project is done, which is so nice after 2 years of chaos! We also were involved with two dragonboating events, in Bemidji and Duluth. I still managed to finish a pet portrait commission of Kit, a sweet little Border Collie. I also participated in the first ever ‘Art Extravaganza’ hosted by the Art Center for kids from 7-14.  Looking ahead now, I’m preparing for the annual Studio Cruise in October. I hope to get some new works painted for that event, so plan to come out and see me!       Here’s Kit:

“Kit” 9×12 Pastel on Velour Paper

 

Summer is always a busy time in Minnesota. Since it is so short, we have to squeeze a lot of busy-ness into it! This summer is no exception. We have put many hours into finishing up the kitchen project, and we are almost done. Just have to install the kitchen bar on the back of the center island, and hook up the dishwasher. Here is a peek at the project that has kept us busy for so long.

Our new kitchen island, with cupboards and stove beyond it.

We had to take some time to put a steel roof on the shop — the shingle roof was leaking, and since we were getting a lot of rain, we had to get that taken care of right away!  I have been out in the shop working on a commission of two steel benches, which I will post when I get them put together. I am still cutting the designs into the pieces, then I will be able to start construction.

Tomorrow my art critique group, Studio 10, will be hanging an exhibit at Dunn Brothers in Bemidji. If you are in town on Friday, we will have an opening reception from 2-4 pm. The exhibit will be up for the whole month of July. Then on Tuesday I will be helping install the “We all Love Paul” exhibit at Neilson Place, which is in celebration of the 75th birthday of Paul Bunyan as an icon in the town of Bemidji. Should be a fun exhibit, with art and photos from many artists. The opening reception for that one is also on Friday, from 3-4:30 pm. This exhibit will be available for viewing through October.  Here is a look at my entry in the exhibit: “Paul and Babe, the Early Days”

“Paul and Babe, the Early Days” Acrylic/Mixed-media on canvas, 24″x18″

The hot weather has arrived along with the beginning of July. We won’t complain too much since so many are dealing with such difficult problems — flooding in Duluth, wind damage out east, and huge fires  out west. Hope all that gets resolved soon.

We had a cute visitor in our backyard the other night — I will share a picture!

Evening visitor in the backyard. Mom and twin were there too, but they stayed back in the brush. This little guy came out on the lawn where we could get a good look at him. 🙂