Saturday, December 8, 2012

Randy Higbee Gallery: 6-inch Squared Show 2012

Hi, everyone! I am still in the process of decking the halls. And enjoying every minute of it! It's helping to take my mind off of all the paintings that I've been wiping. Ugh. Once again, I am vowing to persevere. Cross your fingers for me.

I did want to share a little bit of good news with you, though. My painting, Three Little Figs, was juried into Randy Higbee's 6-inch Squared Show, and the show opens tonight! Grab a cup of coffee and browse through the paintings! I'm so inspired by all of the beautiful work and honored to participate with such a talented group.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Little Chick in Red

Hi there! I am happy to report that the Traveling Chicken and her glamorous entourage arrived safely in Texas! From the looks of the box, she underwent a most thorough examination in Customs. However, her sterling reputation as an international ambassador of creative good will (and fun!) must have preceded her. They carefully wrapped her back up and sent her on her way!


After a leisurely morning of tea and scones, she graciously posed for me yesterday afternoon. She seems to favor a vintage tea towel, and I can't say that I blame her. She looks stunning in red! A while ago, I purchased this tiny, 4-inch wooden panel, and I hadn't found just the right subject for it. When I unpacked the little Traveling Chicken, though, I knew she was it!

In the spirit of the holiday season, I'm going to start her auction on Daily Paintworks at $1.00. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to fellow painter, Azra's, favorite charity. She was the one that started this very fun tradition, so I think it is only fitting! Thank you, Azra!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Morning Sunshine and the Traveling Chicken


I hope this note finds you all enjoying a wonderful week.  I am still painting persimmons here.  And figs.  I did have a little excitement here yesterday.  The Traveling Chicken and her glamorous entourage arrived!  While I've been slaving away in the studio, they've been basking in the warm fall sunshine and enjoying their morning tea.  We're scheduled for a portrait session later today, so I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Plum, Persimmon and Peridot

Does this persimmon appear to levitate?  I noticed that in my other persimmon painting, too. What am I doing wrong?

On a side note, I found the little amethyst bottle (from above) on our recent trip to Colorado. We enjoyed the cool mountain air and the beautiful fall color.  I'm attaching a few photos for you from our daily walks.

I wasn't the first Darla to venture along this trail, but fortunately, it saved me a lot of time carving my name into a rock.  Ha!

And what would vacation pics be without one of Mark and Rodeo relaxing and enjoying the view?  

Good times!  Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Three Little Figs

More fun with figs.  

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I loved painting these little figs.  The market is chock-full of delights this time of year, isn't it?  I'm looking forward to the holidays!

Have a great Thursday!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Red, White and Blue


This is my submission for the Daily Paintworks fundraiser to benefit the survivors of Hurricane Sandy.  The news reports have been heartbreaking.  In time, they will recover and rebuild from this terrible challenge.  For now, though, they need our support.  Thank you for your help.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Chapel by the Sea

On a trip to Canada this summer, my niece, Holly, took an awesome photograph of this little church.  This is an extremely cropped view of her original photo, but I thought it would make a good study for a larger painting.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting for Daddy


This is a painting of twin brothers, Henry and Michael, and their faithful companion Bucky.  It is a commissioned piece painted from a photograph furnished by their grandmother.  As soon as I saw Anne's photo, I knew that I wanted to paint these sweet boys, and it was a pure joy.  As was Anne to work with on the project.  Meeting new friends via this blog and Daily Paintworks has been such a delightful surprise.  I feel very thankful for all of you and for the daily dose of inspiration that you provide.  Thank you!

I hope you're all having a great week!  Take care and I'll talk to you soon.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Savannah - N/A

I worked from a photograph today.  This is my friend's daughter.  Although I enjoyed the process, I didn't really capture all of Savannah's sparkle.  She is such a little doll.  And packed with personality.  I don't think that it will ever be possible for me to get all of that on canvas, but it is fun to try.

It is cool and rainy here this week, and I am loving every minute of it.  Looking forward to the weekend!  I hope you all have a great one!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Green Eggs Sans Ham


When I set this up, I liked the odd angle of it.  Now, I'm not so sure?  We had a new roof installed on our house this week.  After listening to all of the noise, I'm a little frazzled.  Or perhaps I should say scrambled?  Ha.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I'm wiping a lot of paintings lately, but I am vowing to persevere.  In the meantime, all of your beautiful paintings are keeping me feeling inspired!

I hope you all have a great holiday weekend ahead.  Happy painting!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pitcher Study with Tomatoes

As reflective surfaces are so challenging for me, I was tickled to stumble across this pitcher in our local thrift shop.  (I used to get excited about buying pretty shoes.  Now, I'm all about shopping for still life props.)  And the tomatoes are from my Dad's little garden.  They taste just like summertime.  Yum!

Thank you all for your comments.  I appreciate each one of them.  And all of you.  I hope that you're all having a great week!

Monday, June 4, 2012

It sure feels great to be back in my studio!  There is something so therapeutic about pushing paint around on a canvas, isn't there?  There was no real focus today for me.  Just a simple apple and finding joy in the process.

I hope your week is off to a wonderful beginning!

Friday, May 25, 2012



Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend!  May God bless all of our veterans and their families.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

This is one of my under-paintings from Fongwei Liu's workshop.  He generously shared his five value concept with us.  The five values are:  light, light mid-tone, core shadow, dark mid-tone and reflecting light.  I'm used to thinking in terms of light, mid-tone and dark, so this concept is a revelation to me.  

I hope you're all having a great week!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Home Again

Hi there!  I am home again and trying to get back into the swing of things.  Unpacking and laundry were at the top of my "To Do" list today.  Along with grocery shopping.  And of course, spoiling Mark and Rodeo a bit.  I sure missed my little family.  And all of you!

I haven't had a chance to photograph my workshop paintings, but I thought you might enjoy seeing our group.  So many talented artists!  And I just can't say enough GOOD things about Fongwei Liu.  He is an outstanding artist and an excellent teacher.  Very thoughtful and generous.  Be sure to check out his blog at the above link.  His workshop demos are amazing!

Many thanks to Fongwei.  And also to Qiang Huang, his lovely wife Song, and all of the wonderful ladies of the Anderson Mill Garden Museum.  It was a great workshop!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012



These little wildflowers are my entry for this week's Daily Paintworks Challenge.  The Yellow Challenge was posted by Abbey Ryan, and as always, there are so many wonderful entries.  If you haven't had a chance yet, head on over and check them out!

And most importantly, I want to send "Happy 7th Birthday" wishes to my sweet niece Hailey.  Markers the Cowboy and I love you very much!

Have a great day, everyone!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Workshop Paintings

These are a couple of my paintings from Qiang Huang's workshop in April.  I meant to post them earlier, but in the craziness of the past few weeks, it slipped my mind.  The one above was done on our last class day, and I painted it with a palette knife.  I struggle with my work being too tight, and working with the palette knife seems to be a great way to free up my mind and my brushwork.

This was painted on our first class day.  During the morning, Qiang demonstrated his high key painting techniques, and in the afternoon, we spent several hours working with our own still life set-ups.  I learned so much from his lectures and demonstrations, but I gained a great deal of insight from his thoughtful critiques of my work.  I have only been fortunate enough to attend three workshops, but in all three, the critiques have proved so valuable to me.

This next week, I am headed to Austin for a portrait workshop with Fongwei Liu.  I am so excited!  After that, I hope to settle in for a summer of painting, but I'm very grateful for the opportunity to study with these two artists.  I will post more about Fongwei's workshop next week.

On a side note, I have 3 packages of 6x6 Ampersand panels that I would like to give away.  I love the quality of the panels, but I cannot seem to paint on such a smooth surface.  And I don't like to see things go to waste.  So, if you would like them, just let me know, and I will send them to you ASAP!  Thanks!

Happy (early) Mother's Day to all of you.  I hope you have the most wonderful of days!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Hour

This little painting took me two attempts.  I really liked the set-up, though.  So, I wiped the first one down and started over.  Some days are just like that, aren't they?

I hope you're all having a great week!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Primary Play

This painting was another experiment in using a transparent under-painting of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.  I really like the technique with regards to alla prima painting, but I need a lot more practice.  After a week away, though, it felt great to be painting again.  There is nothing like it, eh?

I hope you're all having a great week!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pinot Grigio on Green

The colors on this aren't exactly right. The foreground appears a little washed out. In reality, it is a warmer green, but this is as close as I could get this evening.  I am working on a better set-up for photographing my paintings, but -- like me -- it is a work in progress. Thank you for your patience!

I hope you're all having a relaxing weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Shadow Boxing

Last week, I attended Qiang Huang's workshop at Dena Wenmoh's ranch in Cypress Mill, Texas.  This was my first workshop with him, and it was so interesting!  He is a phenomenal artist and a wonderful teacher. Along with sharing his approach to painting, he spent one afternoon discussing the more practical aspects of marketing our work.  I am still absorbing all of the valuable information he shared with us. It was so nice to spend a few days in the beautiful Texas hill country with an excellent teacher and a fun group of artists. Very enjoyable!

And now, it is nice to be back home.  I'm still trying to get caught up with everything, but it feels great to be back in my studio today.  There really is no place like home, eh?

Happy painting, everyone!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Before and After

Yesterday, just as the storm clouds moved in, I set up my portable easel on the front porch to paint.  The clouds were so dark and brooding, I couldn't resist trying to capture them. And just as the clouds were giving way to sunshine this morning, I started out again. With no threat of rain, I ventured a little farther from the house this time.    

Although it was a bit chilly, it was a beautiful morning to paint.  We are so thankful for the rain.  I hope you're all having a great week!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Starting Line-up

I had such fun with this painting, but the photographing of it, well, not so much.  Please forgive the glare. As I work from a very limited palette already, the glazing process was very simple.  I only used ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson.

I've been organizing my office/studio today.  The beautiful weather has me in the mood for Spring cleaning.  So, I had better get busy again!

I hope you're all having a great week!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Afternoon Shadows

Hi there!  It feels like forever since I've posted.  Thunderstorms knocked out our Internet service for several days.  We needed the rain, however, so it was well worth any inconvenience.  Overnight, it seems, everything has turned green and is in bloom.  Ah, springtime!

I've been using my kitchen table for my still life set-ups lately.  Natural light streams in the southern exposure and creates the most incredible reflections on the wooden table.  My paintings do not do them justice, but it has been fun to paint them anyway.  This painting is from yesterday, and the lemon painting below is a larger work in progress.

Working on a larger canvas (12x16), I did a burnt sienna under-painting, and after that dried, I laid down local color.  After that dries completely, I'm going to experiment with glazing.

Well, that's all for me.  I apologize for the long post, but I've missed you all!  I hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Strawberries, Sunflowers and Sunshine

Busy week.  BEAUTIFUL weather.  And I am finally adjusting to the time change.  Yay!  I hope you're  all having a great Friday!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Split Rock, Wyoming

Split Rock is a natural landmark on the historic Oregon Trail.  It can be seen as a cleft in the top of the Rattlesnake Range.

Thank you for your comments yesterday.  I always appreciate your insight, but when painting out of my comfort zone, your input is especially important.  I've been having issues with the new comment boxes lately, and I haven't been able to comment/respond as I would like.  So, I've switched to a new laptop and browser.  Hopefully, all issues have been resolved.  (Crossing my fingers!)

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Heart Mountain

This painting, Heart Mountain, is from a photograph taken on our trip to Wyoming.  Heart Mountain is located just north of Cody in the Bighorn Basin.  Although it has been sleeting here today, warm weather is quickly approaching.   I am hoping to spend many pretty days painting outdoors.  Having only painted a handful of landscapes, I thought our Wyoming photos would be good practice for me in preparation for plein air painting.  And I would enjoy them as a small series, too.  I welcome any critiques/suggestions you may have for me.

Also, I am working on a new surface today.  I've noticed that so many of you seem to prefer working on the Ampersand panels, so I ordered a few to try myself.  I think that I will really like the smooth surface, so I am excited!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hare Essentials

I'm all about the cast shadow in this painting.  And the one leafy strand.  These baby carrots were supposed to be a part of our dinner tonight, but I decided to paint them instead.  They have me longing for summer, farmer's markets and fresh garden produce.

I hope your week is off to a great beginning!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hop Chocolate

Well, I attempted to paint the yellow rose several more times, but I ended up wiping both panels.  As a consolation prize, I painted this chocolate bunny.  And now, I'm thinking of enjoying his ears with a cup of coffee.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yellow Rose Study

When I painted this yesterday, I tried to keep everything very simple.  Roses are complex, so I limited my strokes to a minimum.  It was my attempt to not get lost in all those petals. I hope that it still reads as a yellow rose and a glass vase, though. Today, the rose has opened up even more, and I'm looking forward to painting it again.  

I hope you're all having a great week!  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Girl Talk

Daisies are a painter's best friend.  These are over a week old, and they still look beautiful.  It is rainy and gray here today.  So, the photo quality isn't the best.  I will try to get a better one later.

Have a great Saturday!


Thursday, February 16, 2012


Yesterday, I was looking back through some of the DPW challenges, and I ran across Michael Naples'  "The Zippo Challenge" from last February.  The rules were very simple -- a limited palette of ultramarine blue, burnt sienna and titanium white. Michael achieves the loveliest neutrals in his paintings, so I was intrigued to try this one.  I learn so much from each one of these challenges.  I am going to try to go back through and catch up on some of the ones that I've missed.

On a side note, does everyone's Blogger Dashboard look completely different today? If you know of a way to go back to the old format, please let me know, okay?  The new version is freaking me out a little bit!

Happy painting!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! (Sold)


This little box of Godiva chocolates is going into a basket of goodies for my sweetheart of 30 years.  The box was wrapped with the prettiest red ribbon tied into a beautiful rose.  How could I resist painting it?  I hope I have better luck resisting the temptation of this holiday's delicious treats.  

Also, this is my entry for this week's Daily Paintworks Challenge.  Click here to see all of the wonderful entries.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Early Morning Glow

Just as dawn breaks each day, the sun sets the mesa behind our home aglow.  It happens again just before sunset, and it only last for a few minutes.  The cattle and prairie grasses seem to sparkle.  Even this time of year, I like to bundle up and enjoy my first cup of coffee outdoors.  It is my favorite time of day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Daisy Blue (Sold)

During my recent trip to the grocery store, these little daisies caught my eye.  They have been the perfect studio companions for this chilly February day.  I'm continuing to focus on painting white-on-white.  (Squint.  Squint.  Squint.)

I hope you're all staying warm and enjoying a wonderful week!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Eggshell (Sold)

This is my entry for The DPW Painting Challenge posted by Ann Feldman.  Ann is a wonderfully talented artist, and I was excited to see this challenge.  I have such trouble with painting white in oils, so this was a great learning challenge for me.  And it was fun, too!