Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Ornaments of 2016

Once again I was busy before Christmas working on commission for hand painted shatterproof ornaments for many people. I'd have to say that it was my first year painting many duplicates - two ornaments with the same critter on it. Some of them with the same pose and others with a slightly different pose between the two ornaments.

Here's the creations that adored many a Christmas tree for 2016. They are all hand painted with acrylic and then sealed with a varnish to protect the unique paintings done on shatterproof ornaments. And if you're interested in your very own Christmas ornament, please send me an email and I'd love to create on just for you!

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and may 2017 be filled with love and adventures!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Nice Weather Means It's Time to Get Out!

Today was the first time it's been sunny for a while and I was able to get out to the Columbia River Gorge. I decided that it was time to visit Shepherd's Dell. My mom said that I've been out there before, but only when I was really little, so I don't remember it much now.

It's a hidden little set of waterfalls right off the scenic highway. I loved the soft light from the overcast (non-rainy) day. And what else was awesome was there were rain drops still clinging to the fern covered basalt cliffs. This is a great little stop with a short distance to stroll with great views, and it wasn't crowded like all the other waterfall stops along the gorge.

So make sure to get out while the weather is good or just wear a raincoat and good boots.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas Spirit

It's after Thanksgiving, so it's officially the Christmas season!

I'm excited to present this year's Christmas card as "Christmas Spirit." All year I've been thinking of what to do for this year's Christmas painting and I came up with the idea of featuring an elk a couple months ago.

I did some prep work, including contacting (via Facebook) the Damascus Elk Farm to see if a local artist could come out and photograph their elk as painting references. Now, I've contacted a couple different people/places via Facebook and the majority of them have been positive responses (including the Drum Horses). I mean, you don't know until you ask and many people are quite open to inspiring artists. And this time, with the elk farm, I was lucky enough for another yes. I went out and photographed their herd of elk - there were cows, a bull calf, and a couple spikes, none of the impressive racks you usually see. But that's okay that there weren't any impressive antlers on the bulls. That's the beauty of art, you can create. 

More of my thought process of this painting was that it will be festive, with a vintage flair. I searched for vintage Christmas ornaments and based the ones in my painting after Christmas past. And for the overall feel of the watercolor painting, I wanted it to appear the viewer had caught the bull elk right after the act of getting tangled in a Christmas tree and hiding out in the fir trees.

I'm really pleased with this little painting. And now the Christmas cards are available in my shop, so feel free to share this with others and order a couple cards.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Holiday Gift Ideas 2016

This post is for you.

It's time for the holidays and time to think about something unique and wonderful to give loved ones. Now, what to get some you care about, someone who has just about everything. Here are somethings I know, that might help you find the perfect gift.

Have you ever looked on Etsy? It may seem like a beast, but it supports small businesses, makers, creatives, and vintage collectors.

Do you know any outdoor loving person? I love being outdoors and handmade creations, so I thought you might like some of these items: 

Not only is there Esty to chose from, but local artists in your community who may not be on this popular site and instead have their own shop connected to their website.

All the above links are ones of my choosing and in no way was I paid to promote these specific creators.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Autumn is my Favorite Color

I don't know about you, but my favorite color is Autumn - golden brown hues tinged with orange. The smell of the rain returning to the thirsty ground is invigorating, along with brisk weather with pockets of warm sunshine.

Saturday was my birthday. And I wanted to go to Pendleton for the weekend, which is a three hour drive from Portland. But the big draw was that about 30 minutes from Pendleton was the last couple stands of Poplar trees from Greenwood Tree Farm. Times are a changing and the six miles of rowed trees will be gone for forever very soon. Here is an article about the situation.

Live for today.

I don't know how long we were out there in the trees. It didn't matter. It was about living in the moment and enjoying the here and now. There were about 6 stands of golden-leaved, white bark monuments to time. Some of them are a little crooked from enduring the winds, snow, and life of a tree. On the perimeter the trees were a wonderful gold and as you look into the depths of the woods, they slowly transition into the spring green.

These trees have been used for many a photoshoot. As far as I know, this is the only place like this in Oregon. If you haven't visited yet, make the time. You won't regret going for a long drive.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ginger & Dolly - Chihuahua Pups on Ornaments

These are the first two pups of the Christmas ornaments. This is Ginger and Dolly, very loved Chihuahua pups. These two are destined to be  Christmas presents for their mom down in California. I was happy to hear that I captured their personalities. Just because they are tiny dogs, doesn't mean they have small personalities. 

There's still time to contact me to have one (or more) custom hand painted shatterproof Christmas ornaments created just for you or as a holiday present for that special someone.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Why I Taught Myself Photography

Weddings are memorable. Memories are captured within photographs.

This weekend I had the pleasure to attend my cousin's wedding. It was wonderful. The ceremony was just right. The dress and bouquet were exquisite. The loving smiles between bride and groom were priceless.

The main reason I taught myself photography was to capture the precious moments between loved ones.

Nearly five years ago was when special moments were lost for me, it was my wedding day. My very special day was mostly captured with under-exposed, out of focused, blurry images. Originally one of my best friends was going to cover the day. I trusted her to do a wonderful job, especially since she was a photography student. But a couple months before the big day, she moved. So, a family friend said that she would take photos for me. She had a DSLR and her husband borrowed my dad's DSLR to capture everything. This was the mistake. Just because someone has a DSLR doesn't mean that they understand what aperture is and how to maximize the camera's abilities with settings for the shutter speed and ISO - the exposure triangle.

This began my passion for photography. It's been two years since I've had my Canon Rebel and I shoot all manual, working the exposure triangle to its fullest. My mission is for everyone to have an affordable option to capture moments, be it family photos portraying their children growing up or one of those special days that you want to remember for a lifetime.

Now, I wasn't the photographer for this wedding, but I did have some fun with my 85mm lens, capturing the little moments I love. Someday, I would love to be involved with weddings; capturing the sweet moments between loved ones when they start their new chapter together. But for now, these photos are part of my gift to the start of the new chapter for this couple who are so in love.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Blue Hour at Mount Hood

It's pouring rain. The storm is here. They said it was coming. They have said that it is the biggest storm to hit the Pacific Northwest in a very long time. I hope everyone out there is safe and sound.

Last night I took the opportunity to head out to Larch Mountain for possibly the last sunset in a long time. When it's storming, there may not be much of a sunset. Not unless the clouds break and smile upon you.

I live about 45 minutes away, but had only calculated in 30 minutes of drive time. So when I reached the top parking lot, I hoofed it up to the top of the mountain. Part way up I can see the blue. I've heard of it, Blue Hour. 

I kept going up and up. Inhale, exhale, breathe the sweet, fresh air. I haven't been out and about in awhile. Now that the winter weather has fallen in Oregon, the chances of getting out are slim. But thankfully, I live close enough to the Columbia River Gorge that I can zip out and get some nature.

Needless to say, I made it to the top in time to capture this little beaut.

Stay safe, warm and dry.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sarah & Turk at Oregon State Fair

The Oregon State Fair

I've been to the Oregon State Fair many times over the years, but this was the first year I've been behind the scenes of a horse show. As some of you may know, I love to go out to HyTyme and visit with the rescued equines and Drum Horses. Well, some of the Drum Horses were entered in a couple horse shows and I was able to go out on Friday evening. I helped prep the beautiful Turk and photograph Sarah all dressed up for the evening gala show.

They were unique, original, different, beautiful, rogue, refreshing.

Turk, the handsome HyTyme Drum Horse gelding and Sarah. We had a fun little mini photo shoot before they headed into the ring.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Custom Hand Painted Christmas Ornaments

I know that it seems like forever until Christmas, but now is the time to order a custom Christmas ornament!

Last year I had to turn away customers because I booked up and I don't want that to happen to you. Please contact me soon to order a hand painted Christmas ornament that will be a cherished, unique gift that will always be remembered!

Please feel free to pass this along. Thank you for following along!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Perseid Meteor Shower and Mt. Hood 2016 | Photography Prints

For the first time, I'm offering a limited edition print of a photograph capturing nearly 40 meteors dancing across the Oregon sky while framed by Mt. Hood and the Milky Way. Please take a peek here to purchase one for yourself!

Limited Edition Photography Fine Art Print

These will be hand signed astro photograph by photographer, Elizabeth Zimmerman of Western Rose Studios.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016



I love camping in the summer. I didn't get out as much as I wanted to, but when I did it was great. I hope you had time to get outside and soak in the quiet of camping along a creek with the stars twinkling and crickets chirping.

Just a little peek of the photographs I've taken on a camping trip along the Breitenbush River.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Zig Zag | Custom Wooden Rounder

"It's the thought that counts" at least that's what we're told. Gifts should be special, unique, and catered to the recipient as much as possible. That's the beauty of art. It's easy to make something special, unique, and catered to the recipient and that's what I love about being an artist. 

I've had this wooden rounder for a couple years. I've thought about starting a custom line of handpainted acrylic critter portraits. This weekend was my "test" and I'm totally loving it. 

This is Zig Zag Around the Mountain. He's a three month old German Shorthair Pointer and the pride and joy of some good friends. I knew this would be so much more special than a bottle of wine as their housewarming gift. 

If you're interested in commissioning a portrait like this, please let me know and if there is enough interest, I will have it as an option for Christmas commissions. 

I hope you enjoy these in progress photos and the finished piece. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Stormy Skies & Daisy Fields

Last weekend I went out to visit the Drum Horses. It's been a while since I've last been out to the big field with the 20+ assortment of Drum Horses, Quarter Horses, Arabians, and rescued horses, mules, and donkeys. It's been stormy lately, so I was hoping the moody clouds would stick around for a more dramatic effect on the daisy filled field of beautiful horses.

The weather was wonderful, no precipitation and sun rays bursting out of the clouds and towards the horses. The horses were their usual friendly "Hi, how are you? Ok, cool. I'm going to go back and eat now."

I hope you enjoy these photos. I'll be back there on Saturday for the 1st Annual Drum Horse Artists Workshop that I'm teaching. :-)