Wednesday, November 12, 2008


This is a portrait of Jeannine Marie Maddox in her weddingdress.   She seemed so young to be getting married,  (can you tell I thought so?)  But the painting was divine, if I do say so myself, especially in the details, and I had a hard time delivering it.  If it someday disapears from her home,  we will know where to look.
The portrait is actually quite large, and a circle of children are dancing around her, here you see only a few heads.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Artist' Prerogative

"It is the artist's prerogative to 
reveal the beauty of common things...
...He can  either be a mere recorder, or a prophet of the beautiful...
it is this deep sincerity, this deep appreciation of things that makes [a] picture great and causes us to feel, when we behold it,  that we have thought and felt that way all our lives." 

 That was the genius John F. Carlson, sharing a philosophy that is a guiding light to me.  As a painter I hope to bring some insight, some beauty, or identify the profound,  beyond the documentation of a subject. All that being said,  with great reverence for  the impressionist,  my painting wanders from impressionism toward realism.

Watercolor Portraits

Although we ended up not using it, this piece was commisioned for television. It is an illustration of the prophet Joseph Smith's children playing marbles, or a game called "hoppy taw" Apparently the game was played much like marbles but chicken bones were used instead.

This is a tiny study of my Daughter Rachel our other resident artist. Anyone who has shared her company in her short 6 years is well aquainted with her voracious appetite for drawings. Anything from snics (snakes) to birthday cakes she wil
l represent them in vivid detail and tape them all over the house. Outside of Jim's boss showing up for dinner, it is a perfectly charming habit, Which is good because there IS NO STOPPING HER. I imagine that before too long her pieces will leave me in the dust.

This is a
quick portrait of Grey Zimmerman reading a book at the cabin.


This is the Brigham Young Home in Nauvoo. Having grown up in Illinois, this  scene is especially dear to me.  It reminds me of a summer vacation, waking up far earlier than my exhausted parents and running out into the corn fields with a friend,  thinking we would have a quick jaunt down to the Mississippi and skip some rocks.  Day is never more alive than in the morning, and the sounds of crickets were all but swallowed in that thick moist warm air.  After an hour of discovering rabbits, frogs, cacoons  and butterflies,  we realized we were no closer to the banks than when we started, and had to hurry at least a mile back before our parents woke.
Of all my Nauvoo paintings it is my favorite.  I do think I have caught that thick misty morning air.  I have had several offers on it,  but I just can't let it go, despite my husbands pleadings. (He wouldn't understand, having been born in the desert.)

This is an excerpt of a piece called the Day of Jubilee.  In  January of 1842 (I think)  Joseph Smith was released from claims of extradition in Missourri and he was allowed to come out of hiding for the first time in many months.  The weather in Nauvoo was bitter,  but every home in the city joined in the celebration of the prophet's release.  They called it the Day of Jubilee, and many songs were written and published.  As luck would have it, the date was January 19th,  my birthday.

Peace Like A River
The fabulously artistic Rebecca Egan took this photograph of a beach in Monterey.  My Aunt Mary Donoho suggested it would be a good subject for a painting. Despite my adoration for this great woman  I was hesitant and asked her why she like it.  She simply responded, "It is Peace Like a River." 
It has turned out to be my favorite piece.  And I am once again indebted to her, not only for her brilliant suggestion, but also her  inspiring life.
If you look at a larger version,  you can see that the stroaks are very forceful and broad.  I obsess about using organic colors, and am thrilled at the very authentic reds in this sunset.  I am pleased to have avoided the pastels or garish oranges that seem to have become cliche in sunset oceanscapes.