Monday, May 15, 2017

Garden Hat

Garden Hat
12" x 12" oil on wrapped canvas
$295.00 + $10. s/h
click here for Paypal

I recently realized that I take a lot of photos of people in hats.  Maybe it was seeing all of the people in Ecuador wearing hats and taking so many photos of them that made me aware of this.  When looking back through my reference pictures I've got hats galore!  Cowboy hats, garden hats, baseball caps, painting hats, Panama hats.  You'll be seeing more hat paintings in the future!

Friday, May 12, 2017

From The Roof





From The Roof
watercolor  6" x 6"
please contact me if interested

This watercolor was painted from the rooftop of our hotel in Quito.  I took a small set of watercolors, as well as gouache, with me to Ecuador.  I only did a few watercolors, and in retrospect, maybe I didn't need to take both, but the watercolor set was very small and easy to tuck in.  

Because the elevation of Colorado Springs is 6,000 feet, it wasn't as challenging for us to acclimatize to the high altitude of Quito (8,000 feet) as for other travelers.  For that I was grateful as I know altitude sickness is not fun.  

Quito is the capital and 2nd largest city in Ecuador with a population of about 2.5 million.  It is surrounded by volcanos and sits on the eastern slopes of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano.   Quito has one of the largest, least altered and best-preserved historic colonial centers in the Americas.  Quito, and Krakow, Poland were the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by 
UNESCO in 1978.


Views from one volcano top across Quito and the valley to several other volcanos.


The Cathedral and colonial center of Quito

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Across The Street


Across The Street
gouache  6" x 6"
please contact me if interested

This was the view "Across The Street" from our Airbnb in Cotacachi, Ecuador.  Our b&b was right on Leather Street, the main street in town.  It was a wonderful location!  Besides corn, Cotacachi is famous for it's leather goods.  Up and down the street were dozens of stores with incredible items made out of leather:  purses, luggage, shoes, hats, jackets and more.  There were factories and rooms where some of the products were made that were open for visitors.



The architecture of Cotacachi was interesting.  It did not have a beautiful colonial center like many towns in Mexico, Central America & South America.  It has been slowly rebuilt with cinderblock buildings amongst the remaining colorful, older houses.  Because so many ex-pats are moving to Ecuador there were several gated communities of very new homes where many of the gringos lived.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rich Land


Rich Land
gouache  6" x 8"
please contact me if interested

This is the last corn field that I painted in Ecuador, although I could have painted
 dozens more!  

The produce and agriculture in Ecuador is pretty amazing!  I read that Ecuador is one of the cradles of world agriculture in that it has rich soil, wonderful weather (it's right on the Equator) and plenty of sunshine. (Although while we were there they had more rain than in the past 5 years combined!).  We saw and ate so many fruits that were new to us.  We had so many delicious glasses of juice every day!  We always felt healthy.  I also read that there are 100s of varieties of corn in the Andes.  In fact, in Quito there is a corn market!



Monday, May 8, 2017

Country Side Walk



Country Side Walk
gouache  6" x 8"
please contact me if interested

I'm continuing to post the small studies from our winter in Ecuador.  I'll also start posting my plein air and studio work that I've been working on back home in Colorado.

One of our day trips while in Cotacachi, Ecuador was to the Condor Park, or Parque Condor, outside of Otavalo.  This park is an endangered bird rehabilitation & rescue center for the endangered Andean condor as well as raptors & owls;  there's even a golden eagle that was donated by a European zoo.  The park hopes to release the birds back into the wild, when possible.  The birds that cannot be released are kept at the park and are part of the daily educational bird show.  Many of the birds are released to fly during the show.  They are lured back with food, although one of the birds was gone a very long time!  The Park is situated with great views of Cotacachi & Imbabura volcanoes.

We took a cab up to the Park, but there were no cabs when we were ready to leave.  So, we started walking the 4 miles back to Otavalo.  It was a beautiful walk through the country side with crops of corn or furrowed fields on both sides of the dirt road.  





Friday, April 28, 2017

Fields Of Green





Feels Of Green
6" x 6" gouache 
please contact me if interested

I mentioned in a recent post that for our trip to Ecuador I decided not to take all of my oils and to try gouache.  This was a bit of a challenge as I am an oil painter.  But, I could carry everything in a small satchel (I'll blog about that soon), I didn't need an easel, a trip-pod a drying case a backpack.   I prefer oils..I love the creamy mixability that they have.  I'm more familiar with the colors. But, for size, ease of carrying, set up and drying, this was easy.

I decided that I needed to practice mixing greens with the gouache colors I'd brought and realized that all of the fields of corn in northern Ecuador screamed "green" every where I looked.  I love the landscapes painted by Richard Diebenkorn.  They are big simplified shapes of color.  He was my influence for the series of corn fields that I painted.  My focus was on the shapes and varieties of green.





Monday, April 24, 2017

Fields Of Corn




Fields Of Corn
plein air gouache  6" x 8"
please contact me if interested

This gouache was also done from the roof top of our Airbnb apartment in
Cotacachi, Ecuador.  Like many old colonial buildings there was a sink on the roof for hand washing the laundry.  Believe me, we did not had wash our clothes!  There was a modern, technical washer and dryer in the kitchen (which we struggled to figure out how to use!)  But, I did use the sink for the water for my brushes.

Every where you looked (in this part of Ecuador), in every small empty alley, side garden, massive fields, were crops of corn.  These fields are in the valley below Imbabura Volcano in the mountains to the east of the town.  Cotacachi sits in a valley surrounded by 4 nearby volcanos.  The volcanos were often covered in clouds.

Below are 2 views of Imbabura Volcano from different locations and different days.





Sunday, April 23, 2017

In The Plaza




"In The Plaza"
plein air gouache  6" x 8"
please contact me if interested

My husband and I recently returned from spending the winter in Ecuador.  I guess that you could say we've become like the snow birds who head from here in Colorado to Arizona.  But, we've headed the  last few winters to Central America, Mexico or South America.  We love the warmer weather, the colonial cities and culture, and the adventure.

I am an oil painter, but wanted to try gouache and water color on this trip as there is so much less to carry, a faster drying time, no easel, etc.  It took awhile to get used to the lack of creamy, mixable oils and the some what chalkiness of gouache.  But, the ease of portability balanced 
that out. I'll post more soon about what I took.

This painting was done from the roof top of our Airb&b in Cotacachi, which is about an hour and a half north of Quito.  We loved this town.  It has a population of about 10,000 (of which about 500 
are ex-pats.)  The picture of the same church below is from the roof of a friends' (an ex-pat) roof top. 



Many indigenous people live in and around Cotacachi.  To me it was wonderful that they are proud of their heritage and still wear their native clothing, even many of the children.  In so many of the towns we've visited only the older generation still wear traditional garments.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Early Morning

Early Morning
Oil  24" x 30"
click here for Paypal
$1495.00 + $20. s/h

This is the sunrise view from the edge of our backyard.  It's looking out over Bear Creek Park.  Depending on what time I get up, I have this view from our kitchen window, although now, there are trees that I have to peek through.  Never the less, I am greeted in the early morning hours by a beautiful sky.  I've painted this scene dozens of times and never tire of it.  It's hard to tire of amazing colors spread out across the sky!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Old Church Lantern

Old Church Lantern
plein air oil 8" x 10"
click here for Paypal
$195.00 + $10. s/h

This painting was done in Florence, CO., about 45 minutes south of Colorado Springs.  I was there this fall for a plein air event.  I kept wanting to make the building brighter, but stuck with the wonderful muted color of the stucco.

Once upon a time, this building was a Presbyterian Church.  But, as with many small towns that have churches of every denomination on very other corner, many of the churches combined and made a Community Church.  This church is now a private home.  When the home owners saw me painting near their house, they invited me in to see the renovations.  It was spectacular!  The alter had become the kitchen, the pews were gone from the main area and it was a wonderful, spacious living and dining area.  The upstairs choir area had become the master bedroom.  It was just amazing!

It's fun how sometimes you meet different people and get invited to somewhere you'd never get to see when you're out painting and people come to meet you and talk with you!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Purple Finch

Purple Finch
8" x 8" oil on stretched canvas
click here for Paypal
$195.00 + $10. s/h

This little Purple Finch was on the tree right off of our deck.  We feed the birds in the winter.  There are dozens of birds waiting around for fresh bread crumbs (we buy day old bread at the grocery store and break apart 2 pieces every day) and/or bird seed.  The last few days have been pretty cold and snowy (so we splurged and put out extra bread crumbs!)

My dad was a semi-professional ornithologist.  He kept his life bird list.  As kids, when we went hiking in the woods we would carry paper attached to a board with a string tied to it so that we could record the birds that we saw.  I thought all children walked through the woods that way.....little did I know!  My mother-in-law also loved nature and birds.  She passed that love onto my husband who can not only identify almost every bird we ever see, but can also identify birds by there call, and can mimic bird calls.  I guess we all have our secret talents!  Anyway, all of the family bird history led to us feeding the birds, which led to me painting this little guy.

This winter we're going on several exotic bird trips.  I'll write about those in the future.  And post my thoughts and (hopefully) paintings for you to see.