Welcome to my little corner of the universe.

My journey into the world of art began by watching Mom. She could work magic with a bit of paint and a brush. I was fascinated by how she could transform a flat blank canvas into a beautiful work of art. Now, several years later, I'm continuing in the footsteps I followed as a child watching Mom. Thanks for your inspiration and guidance!!!!

"If you don't try - you won't know you can...." Marie (Mom) Janssen

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"The Banjo Player" WIP (24" x 36")

I started this painting of the banjo player last week. I'm using a reference photo originally taken by Allen Russell.
Link to Mr. Russell's main page:
Allen Russell Photography "Life in the American West" http://www.allenrussellphoto.com/

Thanks Allen for permission to use your photo for my painting. You can view the reference photo at Montana Old Time Fiddlers Picnic, Livingston...

Christmas break next week!!! Looking forward to spending time with family and friends!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

820 John Deere (12" x 12") WIP

Here is the final product......."820 John Deere" and "Nathan" (You can take the boy off the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the boy)

Just about finished. Have some minor adjustments to do and a few details.

Companion panel - nearing completion.

Needed to let Nathan dry before doing any more. Hope to be finished with both panels in a week or so.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Nathan" (12 x 12)

I started this yesterday.

Our son, Nathan, is a farm boy at heart. Eventhough he is a civil engineer working for a water resources firm in Englewood, CO, he still retains that "heart in the soil" attitude. Nathan liked the novelty of running the dirt-in-the-face, no air conditioning, 820 John Deere Tractor (circa. 1950s). And so, the subject of this painting.

"You can take the boy off the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the boy."

My plan is to include another 12 x 12 panel of him working in the field. Hope it turns out.

"Walking Home" (24" x 18")

Noticed a bit of an anatomical issue with the older girl's legs and feet. They appeared to be walking ahead of her (see previous post below). Think I solved the problem ......?????

Time to move on to another project.............................................

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Walking Home" (18" x 24")

I'm going to call this finished. Or, at least finished for now. Might do some tweeking on the feet yet. Trying to capture the feeling of movement was (is) quite a challenge.

This painting is reminiscent of my childhood (minus about 100 years - our road was graded). Our bus route was really long, about an hour, and we were the last ones off. At one point the bus came within a mile of our farm. On nice days we would ask the driver to drop us off and we would walk the mile home, saving us from the agony of riding the whole route. And, we would get home about a half hour sooner...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Walking Home" (WIP)

Just about finished. Wondering what to do with the fields. Leave them.......add some cows....... picked corn field?

Any and all critiques - comments are very welcome.............

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Walking Home" (18 x 24) WIP

Starting to add the finishing touches. The children still need a lot of work. Feet are always difficult for me to get right. I'm tempted to paint some grass to hide them.

Thinking about putting cows in the field. Not sure if it's a good idea.....................

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Walking Home" (18 x 24) WIP

Getting a bit more done on this painting. Not finished with the kids yet, and will add farm buildings and some cows.

Friday, October 15, 2010

"... I Get It"

How do you feel when you finally figure out that elusive problem, the answer to the next question/challenge before you???? What do you think of when you hear the words, "Holy s---...I GET IT!!!".

Those three precious words "I GET IT" (along with the attention grabber of "holy s---)" is the focus of my next painting challenge. (Thanks Kathy for the idea, and to one of my students who originally utterd those precious words when she finally figured out how the periodic table was arranged.) How can I capture on canvas the image of a student "getting it"????

I don't have a solid plan yet, but thinking about a student with that look of revelation surrounded by a collage of various subject materials that finally she can make a connection with.....

Let's see where this journey takes me/us...... Please feel free to post comments about what you think about this project....additions??? corrections????

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"April in Alaska" (18" x 24")

Finished.... See anything that needs tweeking?????

I'll admit, this was the most challenging paintings I have done yet. Drying time of a week or so, then ready for shipment.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"April in Alaska"

Almost finished..... Just have to add a few more highlights on the aspens, and sharpen some edges. What do you think?

Monday, September 27, 2010

"April in Alaska" (WIP)

A little more progress. Starting to define Josephine a bit more. Nearing the end of this journey. Still a lot more to do until complete ... mostly details.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"April in Alaska" WIP

Here's what I accomplished today. Think it's comming along. Have a lot to do before I call this one finished. Next step is to work on Josephine, the fire pit, and details.......details......details.....

A bit more tweeking on the background - still not quite right, but getting there. Can't wait to start working on the kids.

Monday, September 20, 2010

"April in Alaska" (WIP)

A bit more done on the trees. Starting to define the Aspens in front of the greenhouse. Will put some aspens on the right to balance the tall trees on the left.

Stop back in a couple days and see what's new..............

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"April in Alaska" WIP (18 x 24)

It's been awhile since I've posted anything. School started and I've been very busy trying to work out the kinks in a new curriculum. But, took time to relax and work on a new painting.

My nephew and his family lived in Alaska for several years. My sister Marcia wanted a painting of a special time they had roasting hotdogs with their grandchildren Josephine and William when they were there last April. The composition of the painting includes Denali Mountain. Though not really this close to their house as seen in the painting, Marcia wanted to include it because it's such an icon to Alaska. The building in the background is a greenhouse.

I have a long way to go to finish this, but have a fairly good start. And so I start on another journey of learning and discovery....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Trail Road (24 x 18) WIP

Here is today's start on a landscape "Trail Road". This is a rough blocking-in . Glare you see on the midline trees if wet paint. Think I'm off to a fairly good start.

We'll see what happens with this ..............

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Highlander #1 (12 x 12) WIP

Here is the beginnings of a series of close-ups of Scottish Highlanders. This is still quite rough and will need to put in highlights and more detail in the hair. My husband was wondering why I would do this series ... don't think he's a fan of cow paintings. But I think they have such personalities - they make me giggle. Anyway, it's an opportunity to practice painting hair. They have a lot of it.

I started working on #2 as this one dries..............Check back again soon to see the latest updates. Sorry about the glare - wet paint

P.S. Thanks to Shayne McGuire of "Myths and Legends Photography" for permission to paint these beautiful beasts. Her website address: http://www.mythandlegends.net/ check it out!!! Beautiful work!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dancing on the Beach

Completed and framed ........................

Friday, July 9, 2010

Scottish Highlanders (36 x 24)

Added a few details and calling this one done. The photo has a bit of light glare on the top - it's really not that white.

Thanks for looking.................

P.S. Thanks "Shadwell" for giving permission to paint your shot of these "cooos". Shadwell is a member of the wetcanvas artist website... http://www.wetcanvas.com He does amazing work!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Scottish Highlanders (36" x 24")

This has been a lot of fun to paint - think I'm finished.

At least they don't look like haystacks with legs..........

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Scottish Highlanders (36" x 24") WIP

Started working on Highland Cows again. Think it's comming along pretty good. Check back often to see the progress.

See earlier posting on March 14, 2010 for the beginning underpainting

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dancing on the Beach

Painting is a journey along an inspirational path. Around every turn is a new discovery, a new breakthrough, a new "aha" moment. Painting Mom and Dad "Dancing on the Beach" was just that - a journey. Mistakes are made, as you can see from previous posts, and yet we persevere, we press on. Dad would say, "It's not the destination, but the journey." It's what we learn along the way. It's the feelings and emotions that are attached to our learning experiences on our journey that make the destination ............

Think I'm finished............

Let me know what you think - I greatly appreciate all critiques and comments.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dancing on the Beach (almost???)

A bit more work this morning - mostly details........

Trying to capture Dad's image. Think it's almost there......???? I notice that his elbow is off and will need to adjust the shadowing. Drying time of a couple days, then I can work a bit more on details and sharpening some edges.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Dancing on the Beach" (20" x 16") WIP

This is the latest update on Mom and Dad "Dancing on the Beach".

There are basic, fundamental features that make a person recognizable. There's that something that you see, and even if their back is turned, you say "I know who that is." Mom's hair formed that little v at the nape of her neck - it identifies her. She actually came out on the canvas in an afternoon. Dad, however, a different story.

At first, I had him in a sweater - true to the day of their anniversary. Looked like a lumpy black blob, so I changed it to a suit coat. Ok, a little better (see earlier post), but not Dad. Jessica was home for the weekend and said "Grandpa wouldn't be wearing a suit jacket - to church of course, but not dancing." And there it is - the recognizable white shirt, along with his white hair. Now, the next task is to shade his facial features and make them a bit stronger.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Dancing on the Beach" (20" x 16") WIP

Here is what is on my easel this month - Mom and Dad, "Dancing on the Beach" at their 50th wedding anniversary at Lewis and Clark Lake.

I liked the pose of the dancers in the painting "The Singing Butler", so I used that as a reference. I still have work to do on Dad's face, etc.... but, am fairly pleased with it so far. Think I'll have to let it dry for a few days before doing the finishing touches.

It's been a few years since we celebrated their anniversary (1994 actually). Now we celebrate them "dancing on the beach" in heaven.

The sketch - just getting started

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Doodle Wall

Doodles hung on the dining room wall in a collage arrangement in son Nathan's appartment.

He wanted something in his dining room that would look cool with black furnishings ... which will come later. Right now a card table will have to do. Doesn't look too bad.

If you're interested in purchasing doodles, check out the doodle art page on the left.

Monday, May 31, 2010

New Oil Paintings Page

I added a new page under the tab on the left "My Art Pages" called "Oil Paintings". Click on the link and you'll find paintings I've done over the past couple years. I hope it's easier to navigate than to find them on the home page. The oldest are at the bottom.

Check back often to see my latest oil works in progress and new doodles. I have several ideas running through my head and blank canvases ready to go. Looking forward to a productive artistic summer.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Blue Sage Arts and Craft Show - Sterling, CO

I made it through my very first arts and craft show!!! Had a good time, sold a few pieces, and the best part was getting to make contacts with so many great people. (Important lesson learned - have business cards to hand out)

I'm in the process of rearranging my blog to include a page for prices and contact information. See the "Purchase a Doodle" link on the left.

Doodle On............................

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Space of My Own

Last week I decided I needed a space of my own--a real "My Little Corner of the Universe". So I started to transform a multipurpose sewing/laundry/office/catch-all room into my "studio". It already had the bare bones: built in cabnets, draws, counter space - but nothing was organized. I talked my husband into moving records and his farm books downstairs (that's where he does his book work any way) leaving the room all to myself.

I actually now have a space that I can call ~ "My Little Corner of the Universe"

Doodle On..............................

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Name Doodles

This doodle, done on pink, is outlined in black with a 5 x 12 frame. Name doodles are a way to add that special personal touch to a room. This particular doodle was a commission piece for a little girl's room.

Doodle On............................

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Open-Form Doodles

I'm experimenting with open-form doodles. I found it difficult to leave just a simple line. I wanted to fill in the blank spaces. I was a bit uncomfortable with the flatness of these doodles. I wanted to add some dimenstion to the drawing. I wonder what that says about me and how my brain works. Actually, I'm sure there is a brain study somewhere that would try to psychoanalyze me by interpreting my artwork ... good luck with that one.

Doodle On.........................................

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Doodle Art - Inspiration

How does a doodle happen? My first inspiration about doodle art came from a friend and co-worker, Leslie Raffelson. She is an awesome artist and photographer. (see a link to her website in my reading list) She also teaches graphic arts. One of her class projects was doodle art. I was inspired to try it out - bought a gel-pen and started to doodle. And a passion for doodle art was born.

Leslie asked if I would doodle her daughter's name. I was honored to be asked. Here it is. I think it turned out pretty good.

I'm going to have prints of my doodles made into a series of cards and black-framed wall art. I'm a bit nervous and at the same time, excited about the possiblities.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Doodle Art

A couple months ago I started experimenting with doodle art after seeing some work done by Leslie Raffelson's graphic arts class. I was amazed at the way the different shapes and images started to flow out of my mind, through my gel pen, and onto the paper. Look closely and you'll find common, everyday objects hidden within the seemingly random lines and squiggles. The title of my blog has, as a backdrop, my first doodle (11" x 17") I'm not sure how many hours I spent on that piece of doodle art, but I'm sure is was a lot. The corner is left blank - representing my little corner of the universe - without all the stuff that tends to clutter up our brain.

Here are a few examples of other pieces I've done. The first two are from the "Gift of the Spirit" series...Faith, Peace, Hope, Joy, Grace, Love. The doodle is 2 1/2" x 7" on a 5 x 12 heavy paper backing in a black frame. Looks pretty cool as a group.

Here are a few more. Each doodle is about 3" square on a 5 x 7 backing framed in black.

Doodle On.........................

Friday, March 19, 2010

Highland Cows - WIP (36" x 24")

These Highland Cows are going to present quite a challenge - how to make them look like hairy beasts instead of haystacks with legs. So far, have a rough under painting - next step is to block in shade and shadow.

I found the reference photo for this painting on an artist's website, "Wetcanvas". The photographer lives in Scotland and the cows were in his neighbor's pasture. Thank you "Shadwell" for permission to use your photo as a reference to paint these amazing hairy beasts.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Panning for Gold

Almost finished!!! I decided to change the background a bit. Thought I needed to refine the trees more.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Panning for Gold - WIP

Nearing completion.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Panning for Gold - WIP (18" x 24")

I started this a couple weeks ago. I've been asking myself - What is the secret to painting a good likeness? What is it about a portrait that jumps out at you and your brain says, "aha - that's Sam". It is that illusive reconizable factor that I am striving for.