The life of this artist (and most artists) is a jumble of activities. In order to get my artwork out into public spaces and on the internet (in other words marketing my paintings), I spend my mornings on the computer researching and writing.

An ongoing (for the past 5 years) stint as a tour director with husband James Cowlin, involves travel for planning trips, taking the group on the tour and organizing in between.

Rest stop in the Salt River Canyon on the way to Canyon de Chelly.

Part of the tour group at an overlook in Canyon de Chelly

I never know when/where one of these tours will land in a spot where I find inspiration for paintings. In this case, a sane person would probably guess that the vista of Canyon de Chelly did this. Not so, not this time anyway. It was the bridge over the Salt River Canyon rest stop that caught my attention. To be more specific, the structure underneath the bridge, looking up at the steel framework just took my breath away…

I also intermittently help Jim with his US Route 89 project. Take a look at the website.

Between these activities and teaching workshops several times a year, it takes some doing to have regular time in my studio. The heart of what I do is to create paintings. Having a routine helps. So does a lot of self discipline.

With my second solo show of 2018 coming up in just a few weeks, I’m trying to stay calm about various distractions (that would be everything else) and focus on the paintings-in-progress in my studio.

Organized chaos, if there is such a thing

Above are lots of fresh starts on Askew series paintings. I attempted to photograph a few of the paintings as they evolved in order to allow visitors to the Reflections Blog to get a sense of my process (below).

An acrylic wash over Golden Light Molding Paste. This absorbent paste makes a distinctive surface and adds vibrancy to the colors. It’s a fun way to start a painting and creates lots of happy accidents.

I’ve added a few hard-edged elements.

Not too happy with the colors.

A drastic change in color and I think this works better. This is as far as I’ve gotten on this painting. I’m mulling over the next step.

Another washy start…

Added some solid colors, hard edges. The darker bar at the top is bugging me.

I changed the blue wash (previous image) to a solid blue. And started to add a pattern below the dark bar at the top.

I decided to continue the pattern across the archway and extended the problematical dark bar all the way across the top. The pink accents to the stripe below the sky may or may not be working.  I’m considering whether to keep these accents, add more of them or sand them out . Another painting to think about before I proceed.

This painting went through a similar process. I kept adjusting colors and making other changes until I couldn’t find anything else that was bothering me. When that happens, I sign the painting and set it aside.

I still have the sides to paint, information to add to the back (title, date, copyright, name) and then comes the official photograph. After this, the new painting goes into my website gallery, onto various other online galleries and out to art consulting firms and/or to exhibitions. Time to sell it and move on to the next painting!