The bags and supplies I use for art on-the-go

My latest YouTube video goes into what and how I pack for making art on-the-go. You don’t want your supplies and art-kit to weigh you down and become cumbersome, or you will be less likely to take it with you. And the more we take the art bag with us, the more likely we are to MAKE MORE ART – which is always the goal, right? I’ve spent years awkwardly stashing supplies in my backpack or purse and constantly moving them from bag to bag, only to discover that I don’t have what I need when inspiration really strikes. Instead, I now keep a small bag packed with exactly the supplies I need to create en plein air. I do so much more urban sketching and nature sketching from life, now that I keep a bag ready-to-go like this. I sometimes leave it in my car so it’s there to grab. That way you can more easily attach a drawing session to the end of your work day or at lunch.

I hope you go take a look at the video, and if you haven’t yet, please subscribe and hit the notifications button to catch all my future art-related videos. I’m grateful to every one of you that shares this with someone you might think will enjoy it!

The Wendover Experience

After our time at the Spiral Jetty on Utah’s Great Salt Lake we moved on to Wendover. It is a city “on the edge” crossing the Utah Nevada border (and also at the edge of all civilization?!). We stayed in the yard of the Center for Land Use Interpretation. We had our first showers of the trip, and we had our first indoor space in which to check emails and work out of the sun in the large workshop.

View from the top of the wee mountain

Our visits to the salt flats were amazing. There was an evening dance-party while last year’s participant Kelly projected paintings onto the white moon-lit salty ground. I ran around in circles like a spaz, made some drawings by the light of the moon and generally had a blast. These pictures are from our visit to the flats during the day:



South Base living unit with van:



Portraits of Portales series now on website

This ongoing body of work, “Portraits of Portales” created entirely in sketchbooks and en-plein-air (outdoors) since early 2014 is finally coming together online. Visit my website to see some of the sketches as this series builds. As I’ve mentioned before, the final goal is to publish them in a book. Or publish anything like them in a book. Hire me now.

screen shot of Portraits of Portales gallery on website
screen shot of Portraits of Portales gallery on website

screen shot of Portraits of Portales gallery
screen shot of Portraits of Portales gallery

A surprise pet portrait makes a great gift

Happy New Year everyone!

Here is a recent pet portrait commissioned by a friend for her significant other. She was going to be away over Christmas and arranged the painting commission as a surprise gift.

Willa, the lovely pooch on the left, really does have only one eye – ’tis not a mistake people.

New Mexico Dogs, Oil on Canvas, 18 x 18"
Willa and Pudu, Oil on Canvas, 18 x 18″

I tried to capture the initial reactions and expressions of the recipient at the “unveiling” in my studio. He was pleased. Surprise paintings make great gifts!


Buffalo Thunder

Here is the latest oil on canvas painting inspired by the landscape surrounding Buffalo Thunder Casino and Resort where I recently visited.

Buffalo Thunder Quilt, oil/canvas, 16 x 20"
Buffalo Thunder Quilt, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″


Winter Walk: a revamp

My new painting Winter Walk is complete:

Winter Walk, Oil/Canvas, 16 x 20"
Winter Walk, Oil/Canvas, 16 x 20″

If you recall, last week I decided to re-work a painting I made earlier this year. I tried to document the change so I could show you on the blog… but half-way through I became too immersed to take photographs. Oops. Hopefully you can still see how the old painting acted as a foundation for the new one:

Winter Desert (title before piece was entirely re-worked)
Winter Desert (before piece was entirely re-worked, and re-named)

in progress 01
in progress 01

in progress, 02
in progress, 02

in progress, 03
in progress, 03

in progress, 04
in progress, 04

in progress, 05
in progress, 05

Just add a dog

Advice for artists:

I’ve been testing a theory that if you don’t like a painting you’re creating, simply add a dog to the image. Now, I’ve only tried it out a few times but so far I’ve been quite happy with the results.

I’m not done working on this painting but thought I’d show you the pooch I painted in today. I was out on the town this Spring making my watercolor portraits of Portales when this guy scampered by, shaggy fur blowing in the breezes, sunlight catching his chinny chin chin. I snapped a photo for future use and am so glad I did. It made me deliriously happy to paint him.

Just ignore the chaos currently surrounding him… it will all be worked out soon 😉

Desert Dog (in progress detail), oil/canvas
Desert Dog (in progress detail), oil/canvas


Painting winter in the summer

There is something very satisfying about painting snow, blankets and a stormy sky when it’s actually hot, dry, painfully sunny and… hot outside. Don’t get me wrong, I love the heat… but I love wherever my imagination takes me more.

Here is the latest Quilted Landscape painting featuring a dear friend’s polydactyl cat:

Cosy Desert, oil/canvas, 16 x 20"
Desert Shelter, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″ $200


Three finished paintings

Today I finished up the my latest piece for the Quilted Landscape series:

Against Pillows, oil/canvas, 18 x 18"
Against Pillows, oil/canvas, 18 x 18″, $200

I also touched up two new pieces for the Southwest series. These were done 90% en plein air (outdoors) around Portales, New Mexico this spring.

Southwest House, oil/canvas, 8 x 10"
Southwest House, oil/canvas, 8 x 10″, $150

Backyard Fence, oil/canvas, 8 x 10"
Backyard Fence, oil/canvas, 8 x 10″, $150