Saturday, November 17


"Panning for Gold"
12" x 14"
Pastel on paper
So, we finally made it to Spain. We've been here a month or so, and we are beginning to get settled. It's been so wonderful to wander and get to know our city, to begin to produce some art, and get used to life in Europe.

This is a little gift to be given to a doctor in Canada who actually does pan for gold. Made to resemble an old photo, it was a quick little gem to draw. Love the sepia colors!

Thursday, August 2

Erin II

"Erin II"
12" x 16"
Oil on canvas
I'm spending more time on my paintings. This is the 2nd portrait of Erin that I have done, and I kept thinking that Rembrandt would have loved her. She has such a timeless face.

I truly loved painting this portrait.

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please contact me.

Thursday, July 5


In the middle of commissions, I needed something pressure-free to do. I wanted to see if I could teach myself to "see" better, and I chose my friend Dawn's beautiful face to work on. I really breathed on this one; I just let it all out and felt many hours of peace.

I posted the progress of it on Facebook (you can head over to my fan page and "like" it for more previews and info) and it was fun to track my hours and the progress with everyone.

This painting is for sale. If you want it, you have to message me quickly because it looks like I'm packing up and moving to Spain in a short time!

12" x 16"
Oil on canvas
Detail of eye

Wednesday, June 20

Family Portrait

This is the complete Thomas family, including both maternal and paternal grandparents. It was my pleasure to draw them all! All portraits were done as charcoal and pastel on paper.

Monday, June 11

Personal Motivation

We've now been in our new place for a week and a half, and I have enjoyed being smack dab in the middle of wildlife. We have foxes, woodpeckers, flickers, hummingbirds, bears, and an amazing rushing river to look at right out our living room window.

As much as I have enjoyed it, I have also struggled to get back into the swing of things. I have had to push hard and rest hard in order to pull some art out of me. This is a new dilemma for me, as I'm still quite new to the whole art scene, especially in regards to commissions and getting things done for clients even if I really don't feel like it.

So, I needed a piece to do that wasn't commissioned, that was just for my own personal motivation. I chose this.

"For All of my Days"
8" x 10"
Charcoal on paper
*This drawing is for sale

Tuesday, June 5


12" x 12"
Oil on Canvas
A friend of ours recently passed away in Mexico. I was honored to paint his portrait for his widow.

My friend Lisa sent me this photo of him, and I was able to paint him. With a knot in my throat the entire time.

Tuesday, May 29


Hey all,

I am in the middle of packing up my life! The easel is packed, the supplies are boxed, and I am getting everyone ready to transition first to BC for a short time, then on to Spain.

Stay with me! I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, May 16

Legacy of Love

"John Love"
8" x 10"
Pastel and Charcoal on toned paper
*Private Collection
This handsome man is Dr. John Love.

He was a chiropractor for many years, helping many, many people to heal. He retired some 14 years ago, but was able to help me with my overused wrist, and to help my husband with his wrecked knee.

John has been very unwell for the last 2 years, but one would never know it. He does not complain, even though his breath is short, and his body suffering. He turns 80 this summer.

I have spent too little time with him and his awesome wife Gwen, but the time I have spent with them has been profound. Were we not moving to Spain, I would like to sit and learn from John. I think there is much that he could teach me about life, love, and God.

I asked Gwen if I could do a painting of John. I felt that it was important for me to do this for them, and that there be a permanent work of art honoring God's work of art by creating John. But mostly, I think I needed to paint him for my sake.

I hope this painting is a snapshop of John's legacy: a legacy of love and faithfulness.

Love you, John!

Friday, May 11

This Weekend

This weekend I had some art featured at Foothills Alliance, and we were featured as a family! How cool. I also got to see some of my models!!

Monday, April 30

Words and Paint

22" x 30"
Oil on canvas
This piece is for sale

I met Erin through my cousin, Jeff. This girl is amazing. Besides being one of the most handsome creatures on the planet, she's sweet, an artist, a writer, a photographer, an event coordinator and a killer triathlete, among other things.

She has some incredible body art that she has designed herself, each tattoo charged with meaning, and it was my challenge to paint her as she really is. Needless to say, I worked longer on this painting than many others. I was challenged to think about words and pictures and the two juxtaposed together in this painting, but also on Erin herself.

She has words on her body--what words mean so much to me that I would be willing to carrying them on me as long as I inhabit my body?

Erin said something remarkable to me: she said that a lot of people choose to forget their hurts and past, but she tattoos them on her body so that she will never forget. What have I lived through that I need to remember?

This painting is full of script. The script that is most prominent is a poem that Erin wrote for the painting. The script behind her are words of encouragement, life, and hope.

I chose to include words on the canvas because of a story that Erin recounted to me while we were talking one afternoon, based on a project that she did in art school:

"The work was called fragments. The idea was to make "portraits" of people through their things. Using the traces they left on objects to mark importance (the wear marks on the chair you sit in all the time, or the cup you always use or the book you love so much you carry it everywhere and read it over and over, that sort of thing). I had the idea that you could define people based on things, but not just the things, how the things were. Their placement, use (or lack of), style, everything. So I examined homes. Closely. Then photographed. I often found I had one liner thoughts about people running through my head, so I started writing them in dry erase on key objects I was photographing."--Erin

Yep, she wrote on people's stuff! So I wrote on her the words that came to mind as I was painting her. But these words are permanent.

Check out Erin's photography website. She's got some really interesting pieces there.

Thanks, Erin, for indulging me. You inspire me.

Tuesday, April 24

Wee Exposition

 I was honored to be involved in a 4-artist exposition this month.

However, I forgot my camera, so I took pictures with my cell phone. (As you can see, the kids are super cute no matter the photo quality!!)

Saturday, April 14

Pete in Snow

"Heavy Hauler"
14" x 18"
Oil on canvas
This might be the prettiest of the trucks I have done to date. A bright, shiny red logging truck in the snow. How nice for me!

This truck is part of a 4 painting set. Underneath the large truck are three mini canvases, each 6" square, 2 with logos painted, and one little truck grill.

Gotta say, I sure like chrome. I do believe this to be my last truck, though. Painting trucks taught me a lot about reflections! And circles, ovals, straight lines, perspective...the list is long.

Thanks, Mel, for the business and the learning opportunity.

Tuesday, April 3

York Boys

20" x 26"
Oil on canvas
This painting is for sale 
20" x 26"
Oil on canvas
This painting is for sale
Last year, my husband and I were in York, England. We love Europe, and York has to be one of our favorite places.

These boys were on the street together, making their living playing sweet music.

This pair of paintings may be purchased together as a set for a lower price. No profit of these paintings goes to me. Instead, I donate 100% of the funds generated to charity. If you are interested in buying art that is tax-deductible, please contact me.

Monday, March 26

The Big Deal

So here's the big deal: I've been feverishly working on 4 canvases since January, and they were handed over yesterday to their new home in Red Deer, Canada. Each canvas has the image of a person who has a unique story, and one that I hope would be a catalyst of sorts to change the world. Click on the links under each photo to find out how you, too, can help.

"Desert Sand" is the African region of the world. Fatimou is the beautiful young lady painted here. She represents "Girls at Risk", girls who are coming into puberty, whose lives are at a crossroads, one where they risk early marriage, early pregnancy, illiteracy, HIV or AIDS, and poverty. The Niger Vocational Training Center gives these girls an education and a trade as a seamstress, so that they have hope for a future that isn't quite so dim. Visit my friend Chantelle's site for more info: NVOC.

The "Caribbean Sun" region represents all of Latin America.  The girl painted here lives in a jail with her family. Often when the parent commits a crime and is jailed, the entire family must also move in to the jail to provide food and care for the prisoner, as it is not provided by the prison system. A group of Canadians went down to minister to these impoverished people in an unfortunately common situation. To support a ministry that reaches people like her, visit Inca Link.

The "Silk Road" region is where we will be heading: it includes Europe. This man is a Bosnian refugee, who was able to escape his country, only to find additional hardship once he landed in his new land. Visit the photographer's website for your daily does of inspiration: The Looking Glass.

The "Asian Spice" region is just that: all of Asia.  Poverty is only one of many major issues that has stricken this unique region, not the least of which the natural disasters of late. These three boys' looks say much. Visit this website of the CMA and click on the "Compassion Catalogue" to find out how you can make a tangible difference in all the regions of the world.
Here they are altogether
In their new home

Me and my tribe

Friday, March 23

Life Drawing

 Drawing from a live model is something that I know is important, but it's something I rarely get to do.

So last night, I told my dad and husband that they were going to do it, because I had a live demo the next day, and I needed to brush up on my skills.

Dad took about 30-45 minutes, and I was fairly pleased. It looks like him. I would like to have taken it further, especially in the eyes, but because he'd just had major oral surgery, I let him go to bed.

Kurt's was easier initially, then as I got more tired, I started to lose my measuring ability, not to mention my eye-focussing ability. It's him, though.

Tuesday, February 28


10" x 10"
Oil on Canvas
I took the afternoon off yesterday. I just really needed to paint something just for me, without the pressure of "getting it right" for a client. It's not a bad pressure, it's just that I needed something freeing...I needed to "shake it out".

This is my gorgeous 14 year-old niece Megan. I am the luckiest auntie in the world: My nieces are my friends. I tell each one that they are my favorite, because each one is. I snagged her Facebook profile pic and painted it.

I have a nickname for Meg--I call her Gem (Meg backwards) because she is a true gem. My son thinks she hung the moon. She's a lot of personality in a little package. Love ya, kiddo!!

Tuesday, February 21

Work in Progress

So, here's a glimpse into how I move along in a painting. This is one of four large canvases that I am doing for an organization to help promote the different regions and peoples of the world.

This is my progress on the underpainting, and refining comes after the underpainting has dried. I leave it alone for a while, then move on to work on another painting.

So, after laying in the background, this is how it goes:

Putting in the general color notes on the face

Warm and cool colors are placed, and I am fairly satisfied

I gently blended the color notes

Added his shirts and darkest collar color

Underpainting of his coat, photo as reference

Collar painted in

Hat blocked in with minimal shading

Friday, February 10

James and Martin

11" x 14"
Pastel and Charcoal on paper
James and Martin are these blonde sweeties. Their mom is my childhood friend, and my parents are lifelong friends with James and Martin's grandparents.

It was fun to draw these guys when they were younger, even though I always panic about getting their exact likeness. I end up spending the entire drawing praying for the people I'm rendering, plus their relatives, and anyone involved in the commissioning process.

I pray a blessing on "my people" as I paint or draw, and that I would disappear, and the Creator would emerge.