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 21, 2011

"Untitled" (48" x 30") WIP

Beginning a commission painting of a wide open prairie - no trees - no buildings - just the wide open space of the high plains.  Want to give the impression of the "see-nothing-forever" landscape of the high plains.

Have the prairie roughed in - started with a yellowish/green under painting. No details yet.

  Currently working on the sky.


Starting to add a bit more detail to the foreground grasses. 

Let me know what you think so far.  All comments and critiques are very much appreciated!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Possible Title?

How's this for a title:  "Red Pail Construction Company"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Watching Paint Dry .........

Has it been a month since I posted something new?  My easel is not standing empty, but I don't have anything to show just yet.  I'm currently working on a large prairie scene, and a still life done in a similar style to "The Apple Peeler". .  I also have a couple of paintings that are anxiously waiting to be back on the easel for that final "fiddle factor".   Hope to post something from my easel later this week.

The title of this blog post, "Watching Paint Dry" is an interesting concept.  To many it conjures up ideas of being very bored - just watching paint dry.  You've heard the old saying, "As much fun as ............."  Some may think it to be a total waste of time.  Others may think it a bit off center and a foolish way to spend time.  I, however, find watching paint dry a relaxing way to slow down - be quiet - think - contemplate.....

So, take some time from the business of your day.  Get a cup of your favorite hot beverage, sit and enjoy "watching paint dry". 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Untitled - Finished??? (24" x 18")

Lowered the horizon and added a few clouds on the left.  Think I'm finished.

Comments and critiques very much appreciated!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

New Composition for currently "Untitled"

I started this painting based on a photo reference of Owen and Austin on the beach. (see earlier posting below)  LOVED the photo, but as a painting, the composition just didn't flow ... left the viewer just going off the left edge with nothing to pull the eye back.  I changed the composition of the original photo and this is what I came up with. I'm thinking that I should lower the horizon line and add some clouds????  Leave it alone and just finish the details???  Please help - Your comments would be most appreciated
 (Note:  the deap ocean color on this pic is much bluer than the original painting.)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"The Apple Peeler" (24 x 18)

We bought an antique apple pealer at an auction...lots of gears and really cool mechanics.  Gary thought it would make a good subject for a painting.  Skeptically, I agreed.  Actually, don't think it turned out half bad.

On a side note:  I started to rework the Owen and Austin painting.  As I said in a previous post, the composition just wasn't working.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I've been studying the painting I'm doing of Owen and Austin sitting on the beach.  There is something about the composition that just doesn't seem right.  The more I look at it, the more I think I'm going to have to change the placement of the boy on the left.  Focus starts on the right, then moves left, then moves left and off the canvas...nothing brings the eye back into the painting.  And so........... I'm going to change the orientation of the boy on left and hopefully this will fix the composition problem. 

Happy Painting!!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Untitled (24 x 18)

Made quite a bit of progress today.  Interesting shadow and reflection in the wet sand.  Have the reference photo included in the last post.  Think it's fairly close.  Will let it dry then work on details

Any ideas for a title?  Thanks for looking.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What's on my easel......

Just started - Owen and Austin at the beach.   It's still a pretty rough sketch.  Don't have a title yet.  Hope it turns out.

Let me know what you think. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


A painting begins with a basic idea. A series of lines take their place on a white canvas and paint is applied filling the blank whiteness. Light is intensified by dark, attention is focused.......

An exceptionally executed piece of art - its inspiration, its imperfect perfection, its artist's vision - connects the viewer with the soul of the artist. What is the source of artistic inspiration? This question is as illusive as the wind and answers as varied as there are artists.

What inspires you?

Putting the finishing touches on "Lightening the Load".  Will post the finished piece in a week or so.(BTW:  I did get that closet cleaned out.  Got rid of a lot of "clutter junk" that was just taking up space. Felt pretty good.)  Now I'm ready for my next challenge.  Stop back in a couple days and see what's on my easel.

Happy Painting!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Lightening the Load" WIP (36" x 24")

It's been awhile since I posted anything.  Just about finished.  I decided to simplify the compostition and include just a few items that had to be left at this spot.  Still have work to do on the wagon and oxen, as well as the sage brush to the right of the trail. 

As I paint, I can't help but think about the hardships of those early pioneers.  I can only imagine what they went through.  I also think about lightening my own load.  We spend most of our lives accumulating stuff and to what purpose?  Think it's about time to clean out a closet.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Lightening the Load" WIP

The piano was packed for the for the long trip west; carefully wrapped in the quilt your mother and grandmother stitched as a wedding gift.   In the back of your mind you knew it would tax the oxen, but your husband reluctantly agreed to bring the piano, along with other treasures and heirlooms  -and don't forget your precious books.  The oxen are strong but grass has become minimal and the they weaken with each passing day..............

Grazing becomes more scarce and the oxen tire easily.   The load will have to be lightened or you'll never make it to your destination.  The decision is made to unload the piano along with many of your precious possessions. One last song is played before heading up the trail.  The wagon slowly makes it up the hill.  Your eyes are fixed forward - looking back would be too painful.

Composition 2:  Think I like this composition better.  The piano is more of a focal point.  Now, I have to let it dry completely before continuing.

Composition 1:  Well - it's a start.  Have the rough sketch and under painting nearly finished.  I'm noticing that there is a bit too much symmetry of the objects on either side of the trail.  Will have to "fix" that before moving any further.

Any comments or suggestions are very much appreciated!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Carnegie Art Center - Alliance, NE

The Cheyenne County Art Guild will be featured in a show at the Carnegie Art Center in Alliance, NE.  Opening reception is Sunday July 3, 2011 from 2 - 4 PM.  The show runs through the month of July.  The guild will have 82 pieces of art on display from 25 members.  I'm excited to have 5 of my oil paintings in the show.

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday 10 am to 4 pm
Sunday 1 to 4 pm

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"In Their Footsteps" 40" x 16"

Finished today...........

Comments and critiques are very much appreciated!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

"In Their Footsteps" (40 x16) WIP

"Slow progress - but getting there."  I'm sure those exact words were said by the pioneers crossing the seemingly unending expanse of prairie.  Along the trail they would be able to mark their progress as they passed landmarks such as "Chimney Rock", Court House Rock",  "Scotts Bluff", ... just to name a few.  Found a cool website about the Oregon Trail: http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/Oregontrail.html    Excellent resource!!!

I'm almost finished detailing the distant buttes. Foreground grasses are taking shape, but far from finished. 

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"In Their Footsteps" (40 x 16) WIP

I think I have a title for my "untitled" painting.  Thanks for everyone's input and ideas.

I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to cross the vastness of this country before there were roads.  I can only imagine what it took to traverse the rugged prairie in a covered wagon.  You could see “nothing forever” but endless grass and sky.  Sometimes as I drive the now graded and paved roads I think of myself following the trail of the early pioneers … following the trail they blazed for me.  And so, I decided to call my previously untitled painting  -  "In Their Footsteps" 

Check back in a few days for an update on painting progress. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

"Untitled" (40 x 16) WIP

A little more done.  Was having a bit of an issue with the wagon wheels.  Think I have that resolved.  Starting to define the bluff on the right.  Want to capture the light on the south face.  And so a possible title???  "Heading West" ???  Will have to do some more thinking about that.

Let me know what you think.  Thanks for looking!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Untitled" (40" x 16")

Started this a couple days ago....basic blocking-in is finished and the sky is almost there.  Photo seems a bit yellow.  Next post I'll try to use natural light for the photo.

Not sure about a title - any suggestions?
Thanks for looking............

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cheyenne County Art Guild Show

The Cheyenne County Art Guild Show was this weekend.  I'm pleased to announce that I was honored with the "People's Choice" award for "Papa and Ted".   I'm excited that my painting qualified for showing at the 2011 Association of Nebraska Art Clubs (ANAC) in Columbus, NE,  June 15-18.

I also had a first place ribbon on my doodle art (which also qualified for the ANAC show), and a second place ribbon in the amateur division  on "The Banjo Player".

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Approaching Storm" (36 x 24) WIP

Summer storms on the great plains - there's nothing like them.  Just when you think this might be the year you'll get a good wheat harvest, one of these monsters rears it's ugly head and within 5 minutes your entire field is pulverized leaving your with nothing but bills and the hope that next year will be better.
Nearly finished with the cloud, but  the wheat field needs a lot of work.

I was hoping to have this finished in time for the art show this weekend, but doesn't look like it.  White takes such a long time to dry. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cheyenne County Art Guild Show

The 39th Annual Cheyenne County Art Guild Show is coming up next weekend,  April 1-3, at the Cheyenne County Community Center in Sidney, NE. Times for viewing the exhibit

Friday:  5p.m.-8p.m ("artists reception"),
Sat: 9a.m. - 7p.m. (I'll be greeter from 11a.m. - 1 p.m.)
Sunday: 12 noon - 4:30 p.m.

I'm excited to be able to show a few of my oil paintings and some of my doodle art in my first formal show.   Oil paintings I'll be showing include "The Banjo Player",  "The Fiddler", "Walking Home", "Highland Cows", and "Papa and Ted".

If you're looking for something to do in the Sidney, NE area the weekend of April 1st - check it out.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"The Fiddler" (24 x 30)

Think I'm going to call this finished.   


Ready to start my next project.

Friday, March 4, 2011

"The Fiddler" (30 x 24) WIP

A llittle more done on "The Fiddler"  For some reason, I'm not able to get a clear photograph.  It's interesting when you see a photo, the spots that really need work, places that need their edges sharpend and those that need to be softened.  I'm fairly happy with this so far. 

Thanks for looking

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"The Fiddler" (24 x 30) WIP

My next project - The Fiddler.  Have a pretty good start.  Trying out a few differnt techniques.  As you can see, the vest isn't finished yet and there is a lot of detail work and sharpeninng of edges to be done.  Hope to be finished soon. 

Again - all comments and critiques are very much appreciated!!!

Painting is a journey.............................we learn along the way.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

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

Think I'll call finished.   Thanks again Mr. Allen Russell for permission to use your photo for my painting. You can view the reference photo on Mr. Russell's web page "Life in the American West" ( Montana Old Time Fiddlers Picnic, Livingston...)

This has been quite a journey..........

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"The Banjo Player" (WIP)

We had a snow day today!!! Was happy to have time to work on "The Banjo Player". There's still quite a bit to do yet before calling him finished, but making progress.

Thanks for looking~

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"The Banjo Player" WIP

Update on progress - still a long way to go.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

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

Yay!!! Christmas Break!!!! That means I have some time to work on "The Banjo Player" . His face is starting to take shape. There's a lot of character to capture. I'm sure he has quite a few stories to tell... Someone told me that each line on your face is a little remnant of a past experience. Happy or sad, each traces it's mark. From the referance photo, the banjo player must have had a very happy life - I hope to be able to capture that. So far, just the basics.

Leave a comment if you like - critiques are always very welcome. It's how I learn and improve.