Friday, August 31, 2012

Cranberry Forest

"Cranberry Forest" Acrylic on 12"wx6"h canvas
Preparing for my upcoming show at Beaner's in Duluth, MN has me thinking in red, orange, yellow and brown. Yes, autumn is approaching and I'm thinking ahead to blazing maples, golden birches and crisp autumn days. So many thoughts to share and so little time .. next week will be better but for now enjoy a nice piece currently available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN titled Cranberry Forest. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer Birch Photo References

While I'm busy finishing off paintings for my upcoming show at Beaner's in Duluth, I thought I'd share a few reference photos over the next couple of days. Why do I paint the subjects I do? This is what I'm viewing ... this is Northern Minnesota ... this is where I live. The landscapes inspire me, the birches with their crisp white bark and graphic black textures grab my eye. The light sparkles and dances off the leaves and the trees before casting long shadows on the forest floor. Summer is nearly over, but it's color and warmth will carry me through the long dark winter months until the deep blues, grays, and whites of winter melt away to the singing of songbirds and colorful flowers of spring. Are you inspired? -A

Monday, August 27, 2012

Emerald Diptych

Emerald Diptych, Acrylic on two 4"w x 4"h canvases
Another nice little painting featuring the birch and evergreen summer theme I've been working in. I love the shadows, instead of the familiar golds the shadows are created with greens and burnt siennas.  This one is available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August Diptych

This piece was painted on 4"wx4"h canvases in a summer theme that I think I'll soon be leaving behind ... summer birches. But I bet I'll look forward to painting them next year! This one is available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Green Ridge Birches

"Green Ridge Birches" Acrylic on 12"wx4"h canvas
Just a nice birch and evergreen landscape available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN. Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Greenland Diptych

"Greenland Diptych" Acrylic on 2 4"wx12"h canvases
This painting currently available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN features summer birches in a 3:1 vertical scale. Although this piece is on the smaller side, it has a nice vertical scale that is allows the birch trees to be in proportion to the trees I view in the forest. One thing I've noticed recently is that trees are often painted by artists (including me!) way too short. The reason for this, I'm sure, is how they fit the composition or artists are limited by canvas size. But when I walk in the woods, the scale of the trees is just awesome, especially when you stand at the base of the trees and look up. So to be more realistic and accurate, trees need to have longer trunks. I took some photos recently of some birch forests and I'll post them on this blog in the next day or two. This vertical scale is probably something I'll keep exploring ... when I'm not out exploring the fores. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

End of Summer & Yellow Skies

End of Summer Triptych, 12"w x 4"h
Yellow Skies, 4"w x 4"h
Two paintings currently available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN which incorporate yellow. The triptych features yellow as a ridge line, hinting at the Autumn season, while the smaller piece suggests a warm yellow sunset. I'm lovin' the landscapes that feature blue stones ... I suppose because the stones are such a common feature in the landscapes around northern Minnesota, and because the stones add such an interesting dimension to the works. Sometimes the stones are sharp, sometimes on the softer side .. but they anchor paintings so well and often contrast nicely with the other colors in the piece. Summer's end is near ... the crimson colors of Autumn are calling ... so is my puppy, who happens to be named Crimson, 'cause he needs to go outside. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Endless Summer Triptych & Green Shadows

Endless Summer Triptych, Acrylic on 3-4"wx12"h canvases
Green Shadows, 4"wx4"h
These two pieces currently available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN are some of the last paintings I've completed that feature green. While the excitement of colorful leaves, pumpkins and frost have me eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Autumn season, there is the nostalgia of summer. When summer begins I always wish it could be warm and sunny and green year round, but by mid-August I've usually had my fill of summer and I'm ready for a change. Perhaps that's why I titled the Triptych Endless Summer, as this summer's record heat and rainfall have made me wonder if it will ever end .. but it will soon, and summer's green shadows will give way to winter blues, greys and whites ... but first there's Autumn ... my favorite season. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bluestone Birch Twilight

Bluestone Birch Twilight, 8"wx10"h, SOLD
This painting from my Intimate Landscapes show at The Vanilla Bean is painted in a familiar theme of mine. Bluestone birches are a theme I return to again and again as they remind me of hiking through the woods around Duluth as I often do late in the day. The setting sun casting long shadows across the forest floor combined with the beautiful landscape and huge blue boulders scattered around is a comforting place. I probably return to themes like this when life gets a little too busy and the blues and golds are calming and restful.

All is quiet here as I type this post on a Thursday morning after a loud thunderstorm last night. We have a cocker spaniel puppy and he was a little unsettled with the storm so none of us slept well. I anticipate the puppy will be sleeping well today in the afternoon sun in my studio space as he often does ... laying at my feet and reminding me that rest is as important as work in life ... especially after storms. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Whispering & Serene Summer Cardinals

Whispering Cardinals, Acrylic on 10"w x 8"h canvas
Serene Summer Cardinal, 10"w x 10"h
Two cool cardinal compositions from my Intimate Landscapes show at The Vanilla Bean. Whispering Cardinals is one of my favorite cardinal paintings as of late, I wonder what they are whispering about? If they are like me they are most likely wondering if summer is just about over. The Serene Summer Cardinal painting features evergreens and blue skies in the background which I had fun playing with the color value while I was painting. The birches also have a nice range of size, something I've been experimenting with. Basically, I want the birches to resemble the real thing, and in any given birch forest you'd find a wide range of tree sizes.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Shades of Green and three others

Summer Pines, Acrylic on 4"wx4"h canvas
Shades of Green, Acrylic on 4"wx4"h canvas
Summer Selection, Acrylic on 6"wx6"h canvas

Here's four new paintings from my Intimate Landscapes show at The Vanilla Bean. These four were painted together and so it's only fitting that they are posted together. So far, the show has been a huge success for me, ten paintings have sold and there is one weekend left. My intention with this show was to feature some new themes, which I did with paintings like these today, and to make work on a smaller scale that people could take with them as they travel up the shore. It's fun to know my work will be in new homes all over the state or farther depending on where people live. One thing's for sure, this show proved to me several things: People still purchase original art, they love landscapes, and there's something in my work that they identify with. I haven't had the chance to speak to many people about what they see in my art, hopefully down the road I'll have that chance as I continue painting. Feel free to post a comment on this blog, I'd love to know your thoughts. God bless, -A

Tiny Pines, Acrylic on 6"wx6"h canvas

Monday, August 13, 2012

Emerald Canopy

Emerald Canopy, Acrylic on 10"wx8"h canvas
Today's painting is the last of the new works I sent up to Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN this past week. It's been a blast painting the birches on blue skies. I just love the layering of the greens, especially in the birch leaves. They have a transparency and movement to them that makes them so interesting. The patches of blue sky peeking through the leaves gives the added dimension of depth. I was driving this past weekend and found myself viewing the birch forests around Duluth in a new way, looking through them ... perhaps I'll try to capture some of the unique character and depth on canvas in the coming days.

This week I'm working on paintings for my next show which you'll be hearing about sooner than later on this blog. I'm also working on a few new paintings to send up to The Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors as I have one more weekend before I take my Intimate Landscapes show down. It's been a great success ... I envisioned painting many small canvases that people could take with them as they travel through the area on the Scenic 61 on the shores of Lake Superior. So far, ten paintings have found new homes. Perhaps a few more will before the remaining paintings make their way to the galleries and I embark on some new work. It's time to paint, gotta go ...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer Scene

Summer Scene, Acrylic on 10"wx8"h canvas
Just a nice summer scene painting currently available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Greenland, 3 Trees & 5 Birches

Greenland, Acrylic on 8"wx10"h canvas

3 Trees, Acrylic on 6"wx6"h canvas
Today's three works currently available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN are simple birch themed forests. The summer season offers a spectacular spectrum of greens and blues in the sky and waters that cheer you up and bring fond memories of warm weather, hammocks, bbq's, lazy days and mosquitos. (Sorry I had to mention those bugs lol.) 
5 Birches, Acrylic on 6"wx6"h canvas

Tomorrow I'll post a couple more paintings from this series before switching back to posts from my Intimate Landscapes show at the Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors which is available to view now through August 20.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Story Time

Story Time, Acrylic on 18"w x 6"h canvas
This delightful painting currently available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN is one of those paintings that makes you smile. I'm not sure what the cardinal on the left is saying, I'll leave that for the viewer to decide ... perhaps recalling tales of a Christopher Robin and a silly old bear named Pooh that lived in the hundred acre wood from his childhood. Whatever he's saying, he sure has some active listeners. Sunny and 74 in Duluth today, how am I supposed to paint on a day like today? Perhaps I'll do a little hiking with the kids, the woods beckons ... but alas, so does the brush and canvas ... :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cardinal Series at Sivertson Gallery Part 4

Red Wing, Acrylic on 6"wx6"h canvas
Some more cardinals available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN. It's been fun posting these according to color. I looked back and I think my favorites have to be the ones with the golden background. They are the first to grab my eye, and I remember pushing the gold to the brightest I could. I also enjoyed viewing all the cardinals together at once. They stretched across my fireplace mantel and filled it with color. I wish I had a photo, in the future, I'll have to take a photo like that as I've been working in series lately. My next series features green-leafed birches and blue skies. Hey, it's summer after all ... Autumn will be here before we know it, and I can't wait, I love that season and look forward to blue skies and warm yellows, reds and oranges. But for now, paintings feature summer landscapes such as these today. 

Street Talk Triptych, Acrylic on three 4"wx4"h canvases

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cardinal Series at Sivertson Gallery Part 3

Casual Glance, Acrylic on 4"wx4"h canvas

The cardinals just keep coming! These blue boys are currently available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN. Perhaps 1 or 2 more posts will be needed to finish posting these delightful little dudes before I return to posting works from my Intimate Landscapes show at The Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors, MN.
A Midsummer Night's Triptych, Acrylic on three 4"wx4"h canvases
Blue, Acrylic on 4"wx4"h canvas
Eavesdropper, Acrylic on 4"wx4"h canvas

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cardinal Series at Sivertson Gallery Part 2

Red Head, Acrylic on Canvas, 6"wx6"h
Evergreen, Acrylic on Canvas, 4"wx4"h
Another group of smaller works currently available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN. These little guys are all decked out in nice complementary shades of green. My favorite is the first work titled Red Head. The name just cracks me up, that's all there is to it! :) Deciding what to title a painting can be the hardest part sometimes, and I like to have some fun with the naming process. Sometimes I think the art world would benefit from some good old fashioned humor. Maybe that's my role .. to brighten people's walls and lives and make people smile. The cardinals help with that .. you never know what these mischievous little guys will do next. Please stop back tomorrow, more cardinals will be posted featuring many shades of cobalt and ultramarine blue.

Eye Spy, Acrylic on Canvas, 4"wx4"h
Red Rider, Acrylic on Canvas, 6"wx6"h









  1. (of a person, animal, or their behavior) Causing or showing a fondness for causing trouble in a playful way: "two mischievous kittens".
  2. (of an action or thing) Causing or intended to cause harm or trouble: "a mischievous allegation for which there is not a shred of evidence".

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cardinal Series at Sivertson Gallery

Golden Sky Triptych, Acrylic on 3-4"x4" canvases

Glitter, Acrylic on 4"x4" canvas
Working in a series can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. On one hand, you'd think it would be easy ... you don't have to struggle to find a subject matter. On the other hand, you don't want every painting to look the same. I work in a series until I feel like I've accomplished something and said what I wanted to say before moving on to another subject. If I feel like I'm trying to perfect the subject, I know I've gone too far ... I'm expressing moods and emotions through paint, not trying for realism, although in my youth I chased after photo realism in art but that's a topic for another day. Today, these festive fowls are set against a golden background that sparkles like the sun off the water. I'll be posting several more this week from this series, and I'll group them according to color. Happy Monday! -A

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New work at Sivertson Gallery

This 8"wx10"h painting on canvas is the first in a nice series of cardinals available at Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais, MN. This one features luscious reds and greens and a large contrast in size in the birch trees. Also I've focused on painting the trees more organically and less straight. I've incorporated many complementary colors in this series, and each cardinal has a personality all it's own. It's fun to see how different they all are, especially as I paint the beaks and eyes. Over the next couple of days I'll be adding more cardinals, please fly back soon! :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

New work at Blue Lake Gallery part 3

Blue Bay Cardinal, Acrylic on 10"w x 8"h canvas
Red & Gold 2, Acrylic on 10"w x 8"h canvas
Red & Gold 3, Acrylic on 10"w x 8"h canvas

Bark at the Moon, Acrylic on 6"w x 6"h canvas
As usual, my photo skills and blog posts can't do my paintings justice ... they must be viewed in person. But I enjoy being able to share my work via my blog ... please stop back soon, lots of paintings to post in the next week or two! :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

New work at Blue Lake Gallery Part 2

Red Friends, Acrylic on 6"wx6"h canvas
Summer Cardinal, Acrylic on 6"wx6"h canvas
Today's and tomorrow's post feature the cardinals I've been painting in a series lately. As I've mentioned before, I hesitate to paint them on one hand because people instantly recognize them and identify them with my work. On the other hand, I want every canvas to be something completely new and creative. I'm finding that people seem to prefer the comfort of identifying the artist, of knowing what to expect. I don't find fault in that, I know that gaining recognition as an artist comes from building a body of work that people can relate to and enjoy. The cardinals will most likely continue to appear in my landscapes for some time, we'll see. As a friend noted yesterday, my work makes them smile. That's good enough for me. :)
Evergreen Cardinals Diptych, Acrylic on two 4"wx4"h canvases

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Work at Blue Lake Gallery

Memories of Gold, Acrylic on canvas, 10"w x 10"h

Asian Maple, Acrylic on Canvas, 10"wx8"h
For the next couple of days I'm posting some new work currently available at Blue Lake Gallery in Duluth. The work was painted during the month of July when I was preparing for my Intimate Landscapes show at The Vanilla Bean. The work at Blue Lake has some similar themes to my show work, yet I've added subtle lighting changes to the work to distinguish it. I'm happy I did ... I want to challenge myself when I paint to push the limits of my medium on the canvas. I don't ever want to be 'stuck in a rut' .. but always grow and create. Difficult task when I also want my work to be recognizable. That challenge gives me the desire to keep working, knowing that I'm on to something, knowing I'll achieve something. Please return again soon, I'll be posting several new works per day for the next week or so!
Golden Maples, Acrylic on Canvas, 10"wx8"h

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cool Lake Cardinal

Cool Lake Cardinal, Acrylic on 10"w x 10"h canvas

Part of my Intimate Landscapes show which can be viewed July 25-Aug 20, 2012 at The Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors, MN. 

This is one of many new cardinal paintings at my show. This one loves the lake .. just like me. :) I heard Lake Superior is 20 degrees above normal for this time of year which is not surprising due to the record heat we've had here in Duluth.