From sketchbook to real deal

I am endlessly fascinated by color combinations and shape combinations – how to divide up a space contained by four sides. In the summer of 2021, my husband and I vacationed on Hood Canal in Washington State. We stayed at a resort (read: trailer park) nestled in the approximately 100 feet between a winding two-lane road and the cold, clear water. Our “cabin” smelled very pet-friendly, but the vacation was just what we needed and the first quiet morning, over coffee and muffins, I started my sketchbook practice.

During a decade-plus of painting realistic landscapes, sketching wasn’t part of my painting process and not something I made time for, for fun. But, I had always envied artists who had pages and pages of interesting doodles and ideas in sketchbooks, so I committed to starting my own sketchbook practice. Fast-forward nearly three years, and I have developed quite a collection of sketchbook pages – some filled in with markers, some with oil pastels, and many with gouache.

This January, while Portland was smothered in ice for more than a week, the temps were in the teens, and our furnace was coincidentally out, I posted up near our wood fireplace and painted a ton of mini paintings. A handful of 4”x6” gouache paintings on paper were based on even smaller (2”x2.5”) gouache paintings I had done the month before in my sketchbook. I loved the tiny ones – tiled nine to a page, and I loved the 4”x6”s. I knew that I wanted to paint them full-scale.

In March, I headed out to my second artist residency at PLAYA on Summer Lake in remote southeast Oregon. I took six 24”x30” canvases specifically for these designs. I started painting them the first night there and finished all six during the residency. They have so many layers of paint; when the painting is only about the colors and the division of space, the colors have to be perfect. So do the proportions of the shapes. And in my case, these paintings tow the line between soft and hard edges. The places where the colors meet, defining the shapes, are very interesting to me.

I am pleased to make these six paintings available to you. Each is 24”x30” and framed with a maple strip frame.

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