November 4, 2016 - I was trying to finish this drawing as we were packing up the house to move from Alaska to Missouri.  I had to put my drawing materials away, and I wanted to have this completed. This particular colored pencil drawing was the first one where I combined both of my types of pencils, oil and wax, and all 3 brands.  Usually I am a bit of a purist and only use one type and brand at a time.  However, I've found a few issues that were solved by combining the different pencils.  They did amazingly well together!  I needed to be able to have a harder point for drawing hairs and the eyelashes.  The Polychromos pencils are oil based and harder than the Prismacolors.  I also found the Luminance pencils a bit harder than the Prismas.  I worked on smoothing out the skin more and used the Prismas heavily to burnish and give depth and a translucence.  I also pushed the values in her face darker than I felt comfortable doing, but in the end, they were just right.  Who would have thought that a color called "Pumpkin Orange" would work well for skin?! Trying different colors for skin was something new for me.  I used the odorless mineral spirits to do the under layer of her hair.  It helped get the darker tones established and get rid of the white specks of paper.  

"Zhenya" - colored pencil

 With every drawing, I try to do better and make it more realistic than before.  I also want to add something to the subject.  It needs to be interesting or tell a story.  The close crop of her face forces the viewer to really look at her features.  Her eyebrows and eyes really made me want to draw her portrait.  Zhenya is a lovely young lady and has a natural beauty.  I just wonder what is behind those green eyes...

 I'm excited to set up a studio in our new house.  I have some ideas for what I would like in my new space - a bigger drawing table, some easels to set up works in progress, and some flat files for storage.  I wonder what I can find in Independence, Missouri?!  One thing I know they do have is a Dick Blick store.  I have always had to order my supplies from them and now I get to walk into one!!  

 December 16, 2016 - So we are getting settled in to the new house in Missouri.  I'm busy setting up my studio space to make it function efficiently and look nice.  I was able to buy a new drawing table and an easel.  The drawing table is much larger than the previous one, but it is also taller and I will have to have a footstool under my chair to make it comfortable for me!  I've just started on a commission that I received before I left Alaska.  I feel like I've been away from drawing forever, but it's only been about 4 weeks.  There's still lots to do but it's exciting to start a new chapter.  I was able to go to the Dick Blick store and buy my table and easel.  There are still some things they don't carry but I'm now able to order stuff with $5 Fed Ex shipping and get it in 2 days!  It's awesome!  I'm checking into the art scene here as well.  I've met some lovely people so far and found a couple of venues that should work for me.

 December 31, 2016 - I decided to try a new technique - white drawing on black paper.  I saw another artist who had many wonderful drawings made with a white colored pencil and gray pastel on black paper.  This would require that I think differently.  Graphite drawings go from light values to darker values.  Drawing on the black paper would be just the opposite, dark to light.  I would be drawing the light values instead of the dark ones.  I wanted to create a dark mysterious look with the finished drawing.  It was challenging to get a smooth transition from the dark to the light that wasn't too stark.  I feel that I accomplished that goal!  I enjoyed working on the value changes and deciding what would look best as the lightest areas.  I call the finished piece "Summer's Evening."  This drawing was so intriguing that I already have plans to try more drawings on black paper.  I also want to try more colors on the black and not just white.  It will require a white underpainting and layering the colors over that.  This is my last drawing of 2016.  I have lots of projects waiting for 2017!

"Jake" - Graphite drawing - private collection

 January 29, 2017 - So it's been a little while since I posted.  I've been busy finishing up a commission of Jake, a search and rescue dog, for his owner.  I finally got him done and since getting approval, I am getting the drawing crated and ready to send out.  I also recently submitted 5 drawings to Images Art Gallery in Overland Park, Kansas for consideration.  I'm proud to say I've been juried in and will be hanging drawings in the gallery soon!  This is an exciting development for me!  I also will be submitting work for 2 juried shows coming up starting in February.  I'm getting great response to my work and finding some outlets and some wonderful artists who are willing to share information and helpful hints with me.  I've been spending lots of time drawing now and have been very productive.  I have lots of projects planned and lots of shows to enter!  

 April 1, 2017 - I just dropped off this piece to a national juried show, the Overland Park Art at the Center.  This was the very first piece I've submitted to a juried show and it was accepted!  I didn't like the way this turned out in the beginning because I had a different vision for it, but it has grown on me!  I also had 2 images accepted into the Images Art Gallery juried show, "Zhenya" and the "Friesian Carriage Horses."  I'm excited about the prospects here in Kansas City.  Stay tuned for more info...!!

"Zhenya" colored pencil

 April 21, 2017 - My drawing, "Zhenya," won an honorable mention and $100 prize in the 13th annual Images Art Gallery Juried Show!  I was so surprised!  There were a lot of beautiful pieces in the show.  The juror, Mark Weber, is a portrait artist who works in oils and does beautiful work.  I had a chance to talk to him after the show.  He was impressed with the drawing.  That meant a lot coming from him.  I found we had a lot in common!  I have also recently finished up a commission of "Blue," a search and rescue dog.  He is a beautiful dog and fun to draw.  I also completed a portrait of a lovely young lady that I've known for years.  I wanted to draw her for a couple of years.  I finally did it!  Thanks Miranda for allowing me to draw you.  I guess I've been productive in the last few weeks!   

"Bella Rose" - colored pencil
"Blue" - colored pencil
Winning honorable mention for "Zhenya" at Images Art Gallery in Overland Park, Kansas
"Serenity" - Graphite drawing

June 26, 2017 - My last 2 drawings were smaller in size, 8x10.  I usually work in 11x14 or larger.  I avoided small drawings because I felt that it would be hard to get detail.  I was wrong!  I've actually enjoyed working small and will continue to do so.  They come out just as detailed and I can get them done faster.  

This particular drawing was a study in skin texture.  My goal was to use the pencils more and blending less and still have lots of detail in her skin.  The overall mood was a bit mysterious.  She has a serenity about her, and there is a beauty in that.   

October 11, 2018 -  It’s been a long time since I’ve added anything on here!  A lot has happened in the past year.  I took a few months off to study medical coding for a new career.  Once I was able to work on art again, I tried to make up for lost time!  There were a few mediums that I wanted to try my hand at.  I’ve picked up some watercolors and pan pastels to play with.  With several new projects under my belt, I’ve been working with the watercolors.  It’s something that I used to paint with quite a bit, but not for some time.  We will see if I can still do it!The dog portrait is the dog of a dear friend of mine.  It was an anniversary gift for her husband.  I’ve never seen anyone that touched by my work before.  It was so special!