Sunday, October 30, 2011

North Shore paint-sketches



Tide Pool

A promised post from my North Shore trip. I went up to the Shore (of Lake Superior) in Late September with some painter friends for a week of painting and companionship. It can be so helpful to be buoyed by other's energy when you are feeling low, and when the weather is volatile! These three tiny oil sketches were done in under an hour each as a warm-up and to start getting a handle on the experience of color and atmosphere and mood.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Swans, continued

I am getting concerned about the two young Trumpeter Swans on my pond (above). Mid-summer, the parents and two of the Cygnets were gone one day, and have not been seen since. It is very unusual for the parents to abandon their young - what could have happened? I was worried from the beginning that our pond was too small to sustain them all, maybe they tried to walk on to another larger body of water and for some reason the two remaining were unable to follow.... My fear is that these two have never learned how to fly?! They need quite a bit of surface water to run on and to take off from, and our pond is really small, especially at this time of year. On top of that, it is surrounded by 6 ft. tall native prairie, and if they took to land thinking they could run there to take off, they would have a hard time with the grass... I check on them daily; they are always there, just poking around for something to eat, slowly swimming away when I get too close. I have never seen them fly or attempt to. I finally contacted a person with the swan program at the Park District. She thought maybe they could be slightly malnourished, so I have started throwing out corn. If they are still around when the ice starts to freeze, we will have to catch them and release them in the Swan Refuge at Lake Rebecca Park, in Wright County. I need a happy ending.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Here is a photo of some of my work installed in the barn at the McIlrath Farm for the recent Fresh Art Show. I wanted to send out a thanks to everyone for their support, especially Barb and Rob for hosting the event at their place and inviting me to be a guest artist, my sister Mary for coming and helping out, and Holly and Harriet for their continual input and art-support.
And of course the weather, for being not only cooperative, but beautiful!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sense of Place

(top) Branches charcoal on paper, 13 x 16
(middle) Dawn Birds charcoal on paper, 13 x 16
(bottom) Trees/Clouds charcoal on paper, 13 x 16

These three pieces will be in the upcoming show Sense of Place, which will be at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts from October 13 - November 3. This is an exhibition of landscapes in a variety of media and styles representing both traditional and contemporary approaches to this enduring subject. The opening is Thursday, October 13, from 6 - 8pm.
For more information about the Minnetonka Art Center go to

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fresh Art Fall Show

Bird Tree
charcoal on paper
16 x 20

(double click to enlarge)

This charcoal is one of the pieces I will be exhibiting at the 2011 Fresh Art Fall Tour in Pepin, WI, this Friday - Sunday, from 10 -5 pm. Check out the web-site for more information including a tour map. I will be at site#14, Barbara McIlrath's studio. This is a wonderful chance to see some great art and the beautiful fall colors of the Mississippi River bluff lands at the same time - I hope to see some of you there!

I just returned from a week painting on the North Shores of Lake Superior. I had a great time with some dear friends and painters; I will post more on this after the show.