Blog Archive

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friends in High Places

It's hard to say goodbye to beloved pets. First Gordy, then Samson and Muffy, and now Bubbles....ALL were members of our families, just like the kids, and we loved them. They lived with us with purpose and fulfilled the measure of their creation. I love the verse, "All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small. All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all." Happy birthday Amy, and sweet memories.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ta Da!!! Here they are..."The Monsters". Lane's been coming over every Friday for 2 months or so to learn how to work with paper and cloth mache and create his astonishing Green, Gooey Glopper. Mine is the more modest yellow snaggel-tooth who is in need of a bath.
Lane needs a bath too. Great work, Lane!


I planned this painting last year but just recently painted it. I was intrigued with these craggy rocks I saw on one of our local juants and wondered what an Apache would do if he was backed into a corner. I like the solid oppression of the rocks, split as they are, with just a little patch of blue sky shinning in hope and relief. Does his arrow strike the mark? What do you think?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Puppies in Blue

Toward the end of this August, my granddaughter Rachel, came over for her birthday art lesson, ( 3 months late). She loves animals, especially dogs, and wanted to paint golden retriever puppies. So we searched online and found some photos of these adorable little butterballs. After drawing them 4-6 times, she cut them out, chose the ones she wanted to use, and then arranged and traced them off onto her 300# watercolor paper. Rachel seems to like clean line and uncluttered space, and her choice of colors were the 3 primaries with blue being her favorite. She learned about space and shape and how to use these elements of good design to transform her paper into this wonderfully animated, yet curiously 2D, abstracted puppy portrait. And to keep the background 'back', she emphasized the puppies by outlining them with black. When the painting was completely dry, she covered the whole thing with thick, yellow tempra paint. Since it was at least 110 degrees that day, and to get it's "golden" shimmering effect, she waited only a few minutes before the second coat had a chance to get too dry, to wash it off with the backyard hose. This painting is now proudly displayed in her room...Very Good Job, Rachel!

Fire and Drums

On early fall evenings, after the summer rains stop and the air 'crisps', crown dancers perform a prayer to the gods for happiness and the rich blessings of life. I enjoyed painting this group near Kinishbah.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I wouldn't want to be facing these guys!

I've been away for awhile, busy doing this and that but painting every chance I can get, and not thinking too much about marketing my work. This piece is all I've managed to finish and I don't know what to call it. Any ideas? It caused me a lot of trouble. From the start I wasn't happy with the overall design, the rocks were a bear to paint and yet, it has a few redeeming qualities. The warriors look just like some of our past friends in Whiteriver! I'm still working on 2 others...I'll get them shown here as soon as I can.
PS...I have a name...scroll to the bottom and see this painting cropped and named.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Time Flies

Like everyone else, I've been very busy these past two to three months with my wonderful family, the Holidays and in my case, designing several new paintings. I haven't had much time to work on this blog, but I have been digitally preparing (ie., photographing, "HTMLing" code for paypal, etc.) some of my Native American Indian paintings to display on a beautiful and wonderfully interesting and diverse site, Please visit it. There is so much to see and learn there and I feel very blessed to add my small contribution to the mix. By the way, this photo was taken last July or August at the White Mountain Apache Tribal HQ in Whiteriver, AZ. We are L to R: Jerry Gloshay (Chairman Lupe's right-hand man), Me, Chairman Ronnie Lupe, and Lafe Altaha, former Tribal Chairman. (Except for Jerry, who was just a kid, we all look older, grayer, fatter but I hope a little smarter than we did 30 years ago!)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Toby & the Parrots

I haven't forgotten about Jaran and his amazing art but because he used oil pastels for his little dog Toby and H2o color applique for the parrots, I didn't think to post them with my other grand kid's tempera washes. Sorry Jaran! He did these two super pictures when he was only 6 and 7 years old, Toby in oil pastel being the first. During these art lessons with me, he too learned the first rule of good design: how to "divvy" up the paper into positive and negative shapes, and then a little about the use of color. His family, along with everyone else, loves these paintings and have framed and hung them in the dining room.

Grazing #1 & Grazing #2

Emma, my 8 yr. old granddaughter really had fun painting these two delightful pictures during her birthday art lesson with me. She learned how to use positive and negative shapes, in this case horse cutouts she first drew herself and then arranged and rearranged on another piece of paper until she was satisfied with her design. After tracing them, she painted the first one using variations of the primaries red, yellow and blue. We enjoyed the painting so much, we had her paint another one using the same horse cutouts but arranged differently and painted in a complimentary color scheme. I love children's art and am impressed with Emma's fresh and sensitive view of the world.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Salt

I forgot to clip the edges of this one so you see it hooked on my wonderful "Soltek" easel. This ancient cedar snag is still here waiting to fall off the cliff. Our kids first learned basic driving skills in the cinder pits in Arizona's rugged White Mountains, but then had to "drive the canyon" with their father and me as passengers before we'd let them take their State driving test. Their dad liked to read the newspaper during these trips, ( I think to keep from jumping out), and I would be huddled in the back seat clutching a barf bag. I remember one time as our son was careening around one of a multitude of hairpin turns, his dad calmly looked up and said, "you may want to use the brakes."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Last Stand

It's hard to find a view of the Superstitions anymore without a house or telephone wires. I remember after I had just come to Arizona to get married, there was almost nothing on the south side of this range as we traveled along on our way to the White Mountains for our honeymoon. It was so beautiful (I was star-struck anyway). But when I discovered this spot at the tail end of last winter, no houses, no wires (they're there but you just can't see them), I took photos so I could remember.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Burritos, Grande y pequenito

We were out in wild burro country, dry, scratchy and hot. It's amazing, so many four legged plus creatures live in this harsh environment and seem to thrive. Just as these two, a mamacita munching on agave leaf and her burrito, waiting patiently in the shade for his upcoming agave colada. I love the dry, sandy colors of the landscapes and the angular rusty greens of the desert giants, los saguaros.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hidden Reflections

This little 6x8 is for the Visions of Hope Foundation's annual fundraiser and auction. I believe there will be 50 paintings sold off to the highest bidders in a field of 500 invited guests with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the Whispering Hope Ranch and the Arizona Humane Society I'm excited to be a part of this event and in a small way contribute to the further success of these organizations. I painted a much larger version of this theme several years ago and chose to paint it again because of the bold design and mood elements. I think it will stand out in the field and although tiny, hopefully bring a whopping price.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Purse of Many Colors

My friend recently called me up to come over and see the new and wonderful purse she had just found at her favorite retailer. She was so delighted with her purchase I took a picture of her for posterity. Later as I was preparing a Church lesson on gratitude and the many ways we show it, I decided to paint her with her new purse and joyful expression as a visual aid in my upcoming lesson. She's 84 and still so vibrant and "alive" and ever thankful for life's many blessings, large and small.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Honeymoon Trail

In the desert I am always anxious to greet the day early in the morning. It is so beautiful, so rough and rugged, twitchy and thorny. It shelters all kinds of wildlife including gila monsters and tarantulas. Who would want to ride a horse through this parched and prickly land? When I came across this view bright and early last fall down by Blue Point on the Salt, I thought, "I would". I enjoyed painting the gradual buildup of textures; the desert isn't always what it seems.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Six Up

I was out in the middle of nowhere last winter and as I looked up over the desert hills to these craggy mountains, I could just imagine the stage barreling around the bend. The harnesses and reins were a challenge as were the many hooves in soft, dusty dirt. When I first started I only had four horses but decided that was dumb; if I were taking the stage from San Manuel to Benson, even today, I'd want six lusty horses pulling their weight! Out there, you can't be sure just what's waiting for you around the corner. I do wish I could paint faster. I'm so slow and messy; I can and often do paint with anything in sight, including my fingers. I did have fun, though, with this painting. My next one is already on the easel. I would like to do 2-4 per month. Possible?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Out of Bounds

The Salt River, once an amazing desert watercourse, now quietly disappears into the sands not far from this site located about 5 miles from my home. The greater Phoenix metropolitan area (3 1/2 mil strong) is currently watered from a combination of deep wells and CAP, Central Arizona Project piped in from Lake Mead up north. The Salt is now largely drunk up by irrigation. But when the Apache were still raiding northern Sonoran pueblos for horses and women, the Superstitions and the Salt were the last "frontera". This was a hard painting for me to do. Having had some small success with the first two oils in this JW group, I got a little puffed up and promptly forgot the new artistic progress I'd made so far. I restarted this painting three times.

The Guardians

My husband and I were on our way up Kitts Peak near Tucson when we came across this beautiful little waterfall spilling over the rocks. The summer monsoon had been abundant, greening the landscape enough to make you think of Ireland and to replenish the falls for a couple of weeks. After cooling off down at the bottom we just had to climb up and over and down again; In so doing, I could only conclude that others, in other times probably did the same. It was not uncommon for the Apache to roam from the Arizona highlands following obscure trails from upland to upland into the middle of Mexico.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Apache Stock Market

I really believe in continuing education. I've noticed my loose, dash-on approach to painting is finally coming back. Since I've been learning all I can from JW's DVDs. I've been concentrating so hard on putting "the right color in the right place" that my right , painting hand has become quite stiff and tentative. But I notice in this painting, more than the other three that preceed it, the freedom of movement, the sheer joy of just slapping on the paint is more evident. This difference between my use of water based paint and oils is a real challenge for me.

Monday, June 4, 2007


This oil was inspired by a road trip my husband and I took to the Chiricahuas, the last hold of the Apaches. We had hiked off the trail a ways and this very solitary rugged bowl came to view. Remember, it's over a hundred degrees, the cecadas are singing, and the midafternoon monsoonal storm is begining to build. And in my view, "they" were waiting. For what? From personal experience while living in Whiteriver, AZ, I came to understand that with the Apache, a calm always preceeded a storm.

This is also my first painting after making good use of two very excellent instructional DVD's prepared by Wyoming artist, Jim Wilcox. My whole approach to oil painting has not only changed, but greatly improved. Thanks Jim!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Kate's Paints

Talking about about my grand daughter, Kate's, washed tempra inspired from a trip to the zoo. Beautiful! She was 7 when she did this. I believe ALL kids, even when they are quite young, can draw well, learn good design skills and execute a very credible and beautiful piece of art work worthy to be moved off the fridge on to a major wall.

Blue Horse Draw

I thought I'd add another "washed" tempra. They are such fun to do, even kids can do this very well. This one isn't posted anywhere so I thought I'd put it here.


I've always liked tempra paint and made good use of it when I taught art at Lakeside Jr. High in Lakeside, AZ. Our school district didn't have much money for the arts so we had to be very creative, indeed! These two tricksters from Apache lore, are negotiating...for what exactly, I'm not sure.