Monday, April 4, 2011

Baby Knits

It's been a long time since I wrote anything on this blog, as it's been quite a hectic year. I had a rather eventful pregnancy, to say the least. All's well now though, and we have a beautiful baby girl, Dylan. I taught myself to knit whilst I was on bed rest (well, retaught, my Nana used to knit with me when I was a little girl), and that is where all my creativity has been channelled for the past year. I keep trying to pick up my sketchbook, but I'm so distracted and bedazzled by Dylan, that I just can't commit to drawing her. Knitting kept me sane for the time I needed it, and I still knit when I can now. It's such a meditative thing, I'm so glad to have found it again. I get a lot of patterns from Ravelry , and found a beautiful book called Natural Nursery Knits, by Erica Knight. I use 100% natural yarns, like wool, alpaca, bamboo and cotton.

I'll be teaching a class at LTCC during the summer, so I'll be working on reintroducing art into my life again soon. Spring is here, and the landscapes are calling. Maybe Dylan can be my Plein Air Baby!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Final Exhibition at the Doiron Gallery

Oil on Canvas
30 x 30"

The Doiron Gallery in Sacramento is closing down next month, so they are having a 'last blast' sale of gallery artists work. The gallery, on Del Paso Blvd is showing three of my Kokanee paintings, and are priced to sell! So if you're in the area, please pop in and take a look!

Dance of Life
Oil on Canvas
60 x 40"

Mixed Media on Paper
20 x 30"

Doiron Gallery is conveniently located in the heart of Sacramento’s Uptown Arts District, one mile from Arden Fair Mall and only six minutes from downtown.

From Business 80 North: Exit RIGHT at El Camino,
at 4th light LEFT onto Del Paso, after 2nd light on your right, past Winnipeg Street across the street from Bank of America.

From Business 80 South: Exit WEST at Arden Way, at 5th light, RIGHT on Oxford St; next light, LEFT on Del Paso, .on your right past Winnipeg Street, across the street from Bank of America.
From Downtown: Take 16th Street (160) North to Del Paso exit. On your left between Forrest Street and Winnipeg Street across from Bank of America.
From I-5/ Natomas: Take Arden/Garden Connector LEFT on Del Paso , on your left between Forrest Street and Winnipeg Street across from Bank of America.
Doiron Gallery
1819 Del Paso Boulevard Sacramento, CA 95815

Phone: 916-564-4433

Friday, March 26, 2010


Conte on Paper
30 x 22"

After careful consideration and soul-searching, I've decided to shelve the oil paints for a while until I've had my baby. So...what do I do in the mean time? Well, the Yu Ji lecture I attended at LTCC last week gave me some inspiration to focus on drawing again - so I'm taking this as an opportunity to really work on my draughtmanship. I really enjoyed this drawing, and I think doing more of this sort of work will improve me as an artist. I'm horribly impatient, and usually work far too fast, so I think being able to modify my speed might help my painting when I get back to it. I've also ordered some watercolours and a lovely new moleskine sketchbook. I'll get my colour fix that way, and hopefully learn to handle a medium I know almost nothing about. Here's to new challenges!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Two Fabulous Cupcakes

Two Cupcakes
Oil on Panel
6 x 6"

Here's No.2 in a series of lovely cakes from the Sugar Pine Bakery in Tahoe. Katie also makes wedding and other speciality cakes, pastries and scrummy artisan breads. You can email her for more details:, or call 530.542.7000

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Portfolio Development Class at LTCC

I'll be teaching the 'Portfolio Development' class at Lake Tahoe Community College in the Spring semester, starting on April 9th. Classes are on Fridays, 9- 10.50 am. This is the official description:

This course is designed to assist art students in preparing a complete portfolio which would be available for career and advanced study opportunities. The course will include the preparation, development and presentation of a portfolio of original art, photographing art in producing a slide and digital image portfolio, developing an artist's resume and an artist's statement. The course also addresses preparing the developing artist for the professional world of art: pricing of artwork, copyright, and an introduction to art galleries.

I'll also be covering a lot of online marketing and communications, such as blogging, building websites from templates, social networking, online newsletters and email etiquette.

The required text is 'Taking the Leap' by Cay Lang, available in the college bookstore, or online at (prices starting at $7.64 used)

Register now!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Fine Creation

A Fine Fruit Tart
Oil on Panel
6 x 6"

We've got a fabulous new bakery in Tahoe, and I'm so excited I just had to paint some of their creations. The hardest thing was not eating it before I'd finished. A friend suggested one bite would make for a more dramatic painting, ....but I'm pregnant, so there's no such thing as one bite!

If you're in Tahoe, please visit the Sugar Pine Bakery at 3564 G, Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe. You can read a brilliant article by Becky Bell on the bakery here: Tahoe Arts & Mountain Culture.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

8 on 80...

Charcoal on paper
14 x 11"

This is another of my portraits from the forthcoming book, 8 on 80 - written by Kim Wyatt, and published by Bona Fide Books. This amazing woman is in her 80's, still skis as often as the sun shines (which in Tahoe is a lot!) and is just an inspiration. She has the most beautiful skin, which you notice when you sit and draw someone for an hour whilst they're being interviewed. She also knits amazingly complex sweaters, one of which she was sporting for the interview. I couldn't possibly do it justice in a quick sketch, so an implication of the stitchwork on her shoulders was all I did.

It's always a little nerve-wracking, showing someone their portrait after struggling with movement, gesticulation and shifting light. Drawing someone whilst they're talking is great because they're more animated than if you labour over a formal portrait for hours, days, or weeks - but it's not without challenge. I realise when I'm doing this how much I rely on studio lights to create exciting forms and contrast. Without that sort of control, and the pressure to create a believable likeness in a very short amount of time...well, it keeps me on my toes!

So the 'ta-da!' moment arrived after the interview was finished, and I turned around my sketchpad to show the sitter her portrait. My 80-something year old sitter simply said, "You made me look old."