An Exhibit of Original Watercolors

May 1 through 31, 2019
East Boulder Community Center, 5660 Sioux Dr, Boulder, CO


“We began as mineral. We emerged into plant life, and into the animal state, and then into being human, and always we have forgotten our former states, except in early spring when we slightly recall being green again.” —Rumi

Painting Spring & Summer

I am not sure that I remember having “emerged into plant life” or “recall being green” as Rumi says, but I do know that painting spring and summer landscapes has its own special challenges. That is because as a landscape and botanical painter you better know how to mix and paint greens.

Greens are the most difficult color to mix and to quote artist Richard Genn: “‘Green’ is a wide range of hues common in nature that have been predestined to make painters turn to drink.” And James Gurney in his book Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter, titles his pages on painting greens: “The Green Problem.”

As a landscape painter, I have spent many hours painting outside so that I can better understand the colors of the landscape and also its shapes and values. For me, these are rarely finished paintings, but I use these sketches to help with my studio paintings. I also take many photos to help me, but I rarely “copy” a photo. Yes, if they are not in the right place for my composition, I do move mountains.

Shown here are an oil study and a casein study of Nymph Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. They were painted en plein air at two different sessions. I have worked in oil for years and would like to work more in casein, but my favorite media is watercolor. With watercolor, I can get effects that oil can never achieve such as a luminous surface. And I love the look and feel of paper.

Nymph Lake, oil plein air

Nymph Lake, oil plein air

Painting Flora & Fauna

In addition to painting landscapes, I love painting flowers and animals, especially birds. But I only paint the flora and fauna that I have actually observed and photographed. Many of the flowers I paint are in my garden. For many, many years, my husband and I have spent many hours bird watching.

For several years my husband and I have been fascinated by another creature in nature, butterflies. Volunteering for the Colorado Butterfly Monitoring Network (organized by the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster) has taught us how to observe and identify them. Since I have observed them in nature, I feel that I can add these amazing creatures to my portfolio.

The two butterflies shown occur here in Colorado. The Hoary Comma is right here in Boulder, but Milbert’s Tortoiseshell seems to occur at higher elevations. Look for them when you are out enjoying our beautiful state.