Daughters of the Desert
Oil on linen – 18 x 12 inches
Selected for the Premier Auction to benefit The Pyramid Society at the 2014 Egyptian Event in Kentucky.
The theme for the 2014 Egyptian Event Arabian horse show at The Kentucky Horse Park was “Mares, Queens of the Nile”. I wanted to create a painting to reflect this theme. I painted an Arabian mare, alert to her surroundings, emerging with her filly from a canyon into the desert beyond.
(Canvas prints are available.)
Learning to Read the Wind
Oil on linen – 20 x 24 inches – Private Collection
This painting was only partly completed when I showed it to an interested collector. He loved much of it but asked if we could replace the Saluki I had begun to paint with his own hound. He sent me a photo that was not only the right angle to match the painting but had light flowing from behind, just as it is in the scene. He really understood how to help me fulfill his request.
Oil on mounted linen – 15 x 17 inches
Selected for the Society of Animal Artists 2014/2015 Art and the Animal exhibition and national tour.
I was at a horse show when I took photos of this gorgeous Saluki. He was in a building near a door with the glow of bright daylight stroking across his body. That’s what gave me the idea to place him inside a tent with the desert outside. I painted him from my photo reference but the tent interior was designed using my research into Bedouin weavings and tent furnishings.
Into the Desert Sky
Oil on linen – 30 x 25 inches – Private Collection
I have been fascinated by the Arabian horse and it’s Bedouin heritage since I was a little girl. This was my first attempt to create a narrative painting that came from my imagination, not photographs. Once I had created the composition, I used resources such as research into landscapes, raptors and falconry and the Saluki sight hound to help me achieve that goal. I even sewed a robe and cloak for a friend to wear while she stood in the stirrups with her right arm raised so I could understand the drape of the fabric.
Oil on linen – 24 x 20
First Place, Oil, Professional Category at the Wind River Artists’ Guild 62nd Annual Show in Wyoming.
I hadn’t done a Western scene in a long time when I created this painting from my imagination and several photographs I had taken on a long-ago trip out west. I wanted to design a good rock formation up in the high country as a protective nursery for this very alert wild Mustang’s paint foal.
Late Summer Sonata
Oil on linen – 20 x 12 inches – Private Collection
It is remarkably gratifying to the artist when a painting you have done suddenly exerts such an emotional hold on a person that they can’t walk away. It happened with this white mare and the woman who has now given her a very loving home. It can be hard to part with a painting but not when you know it will be so cherished.
A Distant Horn
Oil on linen – 22 x 36 inches
Included in the Cross Gate Gallery 2007 Masters of Foxhounds Centennial Tour.
Included in the 2010 American Academy of Equine Art’s spring invitational exhibition.
The original photograph that inspired this painting was of a stallion at liberty who turned when someone led a mare out of the barn across the pond. I was so taken with the unexpected image of his head facing opposite of his own body that I knew I had to paint it. But I added tack and decided that he was responding to the sound of a distant hunting horn.
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Belly Up to the Bar, Boys!
Oil on linen – 15 x 30 inches – Private Collection
While visiting in Texas for Four Heads Down, I had done some sketches of the way the boys lined up along the fence to wait for pets and treats. Jim had me secretly design and paint a second portrait of that scene for Lois’ Christmas present. It worked. She said he’d never in all their years of marriage been so successful at totally surprising her. She hadn’t had a clue.
Four Heads Down
Oil on linen – 24 x 46 inches – Private Collection
Lois and Jim had me come to their place in Texas for the better part of a week to photograph, spend time with, do studies of and even ride their four boys. It was as much vacation as business trip. They had previously lost a much-loved horse so they knew what they wanted in the portrait: if everyone is safe and calm, then all four heads will be down.
Words and Music
Oil on linen – 18 x 11 inches – Private Collection
I’ve known John since college. After he sat for me for free so I could paint Reflections In The Green Room as a student at The Atelier, I thanked him with this portrait of him with Doug, his partner of over forty years. They requested that I keep this looser than my usual work. The title refers to Doug’s love of opera and John’s involvement with theatre as both actor and director.
Oil on linen – 17 x 16 inches – Private Collection
Trish had lost her Belgian/Thoroughbred hunt horse, Gund, to cancer. But with lots of photos and her comments on my pencil sketches and color studies, we created a painting of him. She wrote to me, “The portrait arrived safely and I am speechless. It is truly amazing. Now I can’t wait until the framing is done. It will be so good to have him be the first thing I see each time I open the front door. Thank you, again.”
Reflections in the Green Room
Oil on linen – 58 x 45 inches – Collection of the Artist
In my fourth year at The Atelier I was supposed to paint a three-quarter portrait but somehow it turned into a life-sized depiction of my long-time friend, John. Everything in the scene represents important memories in his life: the needlepoint on the footstool, the books, the table, the framed photographs, the plant stand, the framed art and the wine goblet. I had never worked so large and struggled part of the time but it was a glorious experience, for both of us.
Above All Else
Oil on linen – 30 x 42 inches – Private Collection
Susan and Gibraltar were an effervescent force, each making the other more happy. It was a joy to watch them together. We were only to the stage of the large preliminary drawing when Susan notified me that her beloved stallion had died. We paused briefly, then kept going. When I began the painting, in the first layer of his dark paint, I scattered a tiny bit of Gibraltar’s ashes. Susan has concerned about having the painting after his loss but later told me she ended up talking to him every day.
Making Big Bubbles
Oil on mounted linen – 6 x 7 inches – Private Collection
This was an accidental portrait. One summer I looked across the street and there was my neighbors’ young son making big bubbles, everything backlit by the sun. I grabbed my camera and took a number of photos from which I did this small study. It felt odd to think of taking it across to his parents – here, buy this – so I hung it in my home. Eventually I had a party and someone pointed it out . . . and it now hangs on their wall where it belongs.
Grandpa, the Artist Before Me
Oil on linen – 17 x 12 inches – Collection of the Artist
My paternal Grandfather was an extraordinarily talented man who never got to pursue his art because of the time and place in which he lived. He was also the kindest and gentlest of souls. When he realized he had a granddaughter who drew all the time, he supported my dreams with all his heart. I am grateful he lived long enough to see me on my way. When I sign a painting “Maderich”, it’s for both of us.
Six Little Ladies – Daughters of Emery
Oil on linen – 25 x 36 inches – Private Collection
When the reference photo arrived by email, Mike had written above it, “I trust you can improve on the background.” I certainly hoped so! The puppies were in a bright, white box, indoors, with a chain link fence behind them, all taken with a flash. To be able to use the photo, I knew I’d better keep the lighting pretty flat. Putting them outside on a gray, overcast day with the light just a bit brighter on top of them and a touch darker below seemed to give the little ladies a good home.
Dr. Mike and Emery
Oil on linen – 32 x 34 inches – Private Collection
Mike and Mary and I had all been in high school together but hadn’t been in touch for decades. They, however, always wondered how far I had taken my art. When they saw my ad in Southwest Art Magazine, they called and we reconnected for two big, enjoyable commissions with their champion German Shorthair hunting dogs. And friendship – did I mention the friendship?? The process of creating this painting is explained in detail in A Portrait in the Making.
Oil on linen – 24 x 36 inches – Private Collection
Max, the young man on the floor, believes in local, nutrient-dense real food and the freedom to acquire it. Because he delivered raw milk to his customers, he ran afoul of the state government. The other four men are nationally involved in the defense of a person’s right to decide what foods they eat or feed their families; they came to the small Wisconsin town to show their support for Max.
Oil on mounted linen – 10 x 8 inches – Private Collection
Most portraits I paint are larger with fairly detailed backgrounds. This painting of the German Shepherd reminded me of how simplicity can be all you need if the subject has as much life and expression as Kara.
Goose and Becca
Oil on linen – 20 x 16 – Private Collection
I met Becca’s husband at the Arabian Scottsdale show and we talked about a portrait. From then on it was all long-distance but many commissions are. We were able to work back and forth by email and phone until his present to her was finished and ready to ship.
Irish Winter Frolic
Oil on linen – 16 x 25 inches – Private Collection
Pat’s Irish Draught, Dillon, was a pretty laid-back gelding. But one morning he was turned loose in a paddock deep with fresh snow and luckily there was a video running. He dug in and went into his big dressage trot as he charged along the fence. Even though he was in winter coat, Pat decided this was perfect for a portrait of him. Frankly it was fun to paint fuzz.
Sable and Silver
Oil on mounted linen – 16 x 20 inches
This painting had no photo reference but I designed it to have two things I love. One is the exuberance of horses at liberty in a pasture, particularly the young ones who find imaginative ways to cover ground. I also love subjects and scenes that are backlit. There can be such intensity when sun comes through hair or grass or leaves. Both the color and quality of the light changes.
The Expectant Mothers
Oil on linen – 24 x 18 inches
Winner of The Kasper Foundation Equine Art Award at the 2006 American Academy of Equine Art juried show.
Only the Arabian mare was pregnant when I took a series of afternoon photos at this farm. I know the woman wasn’t expecting but as I later worked on this piece, I thought how interesting it would be if she was pregnant but didn’t yet know it. And perhaps the mare already sensed their sisterhood. It became the story in my head that led to the title.
Oil on linen – 24 x 20 inches – Private Collection
Winner of The Sam Savitt Award at the 2006 American Academy of Equine Art juried show.
Cover art on Horses In Art magazine, Spring, 2007.
This painting started with a small, poorly focused snapshot I took inside a barn aisle many years ago. The filly’s head was a blur because she moved just as I snapped the shutter and there was a person in the foreground blocking part of the aisle but I had to paint this scene about light and mood. I was particularly humbled that Nosy received the Sam Savitt Award from the AAEA show because he was a childhood horse artist hero of mine.
Waiting in the Wind
Oil on mounted linen – 22 x 16 inches
Art Renewal Center, International 2010/2011 ARC Salon, Finalist: Animals
This painting was inspired by a slide I took many years ago at a friend’s farm. I loved the gentle reach of the horse’s head. I imagined the eyes were watching the house, hoping a favorite person might decide it was dinner time. The painting felt flat at first but I followed the advice of an artist I admire: if things aren’t working, try waking up the painting with some splashes of color. That worked and the painting sailed along to completion.
The Calling Mare
Oil on linen – 9 x 15 inches – Private Collection
This bay Arabian mare was one of the Gamaar daughters owned by a couple I knew in Minnesota when I was first showing my art at local horse shows. I was welcomed to their home frequently and over the years have used a number of the photos I took of their beautiful horses as references for pastels and oils.
One Summer Evening
Oil on linen – 28 x 32 inches
I attended a workshop on photographing horses. At day’s end, as the light turned golden, our horse and rider models rode to a large pond. Only Natalie took Daisy into the water. After several trips that went out further and deeper, there was a big splash and her high laughter as the pony went galloping back to the barn alone.
Oil on linen – 24 x 16 inches
Winner of The Kasper Foundation Equine Art Award at the 2005 American Academy of Equine Art juried show.
Winner of Best In Show and the WRVAG Founder’s Award at the 2010 Wind River Valley Artist’s Guild 61st National Show.
This was the second equine painting I did after graduating from The Atelier. It was almost startling to me how much more accomplished this painting felt than any equine piece I had done before I found the school. Then the painting began to win awards which only confirmed I wasn’t imagining the improvement in my skills. I can’t thank this classic instruction enough for how it transformed my ability to see Nature and then paint it.
Early Morning at the Horse Show
Oil on linen – 27 x 25 inches
Selected for the 2015/2016 Society of Animal Artists annual exhibition and national tour
The splashes of sunlight in the midst of deep shadow stopped me in my tracks as this Percheron was being bathed. Then the sprayer mist caught the sun just coming over the building. Magic! I took photos for reference but I also stood and stared, trying to commit to memory the values and colors in front of me that I would need if I’d have any chance of recreating this scene.
Oil on linen – 17 x 11 inches – Private Collection
Included in the 2016 American Academy of Equine Art’s spring invitational exhibition.
I hadn’t painted Saddlebreds in a long time so I attended a show at the Minnesota Fairgrounds to study them and take photographs. I combined several of my references to create this proud head portrait. Tip: if you want to make sure your values are conveying good form and light, take a photo of the painting and convert it to gray scale. If it still works well minus all color, you’re good to go.
Oil on linen – 10 x 8 inches – Private Collection
A friend found the abandoned bird’s nest with it’s broken egg in the shrub by my front door. I arranged it on a low table next to my easel but the brown leaf background didn’t work until I added the two silvery leaves. Then the blue eggshell was no longer alone in it’s cool color notes.
Oil on linen – 24 x 15 – Private Collection
This steep ravine and little falls is walking distance from my home in the middle of Saint Paul, not far from three colleges. Yet I only found out about it when I was plein air painting nearby and a man commissioned me to paint it. The water flows about a quarter mile before joining the Mississippi.
Periwinkle and Cream
Oil on linen – 24 x 14 inches
I wanted a still life that expressed my love of knitting – yes, I knit the mohair lace scarf. But I also wanted the challenge of working with only two main colors in a narrow value range. It looked deceptively simple but once I began to paint, I found golds, pinks, greens and lavenders everywhere I looked.
Promise Me Anything But Give Me Chocolate
Oil on linen – 14 x 18 inches
This is my homage to my favorite food. And isn’t it wonderful that it’s now recognized as healthy for us? It was hard not touching it at first but after a few weeks on the table, it wasn’t nearly as appetizing. And you do not want to know what the “hot chocolate” looked like by then. I learned to my surprise that the only way to paint believable brown chocolate was to sprinkle in some cool pinks and blues.
Call of the Fields
Oil on linen – 13 x 16 inches
Art Renewal Center, International 2010/2011 ARC Salon, Finalist: Animals
One November I ‘car-topped’ to watch the local Long Lake Hounds on a hunt. I was able to get some fine photographs of the riders and pack but the first painting I did was of this hound. The hunt was over and the pack was back in the hound trailer when this one squeezed it’s head out the window into the silvery autumn light. I saw such a look of longing to go run again.
Dreaming of Far Fields
Oil on linen – 31 x 25 inches – Collection of the Artist
Winner of The Dianne Rudy Memorial Award at the 2001 American Artists Professional League Show
The plush horse was given to me by my older brother and the saddle was on Thunder’s back when I was in high school and we rode the countryside together. This is my Pinocchio painting about a child’s toy that gazes out the door at the end of the barn aisle, dreaming of being a real live pony in the pasture with the other horses.
“Matoi and Lara Ames”
Oil on linen – 30 x 34 – Collection of Lara Ames
Matoi was a multi-Champion Park and Driving Arabian stallion and sire of many other fine performance horses. He was also much loved by the Ames family, particularly Lara who had ridden him to some of his wins. When he passed at age 30, Dick Ames called to commission a portrait of his daughter on Matoi as a surprise gift for her at Christmas. Starting with an excellent reference photo by photographer Howard Schatzberg, I made only a few small changes to make sure Matoi was presented in his best stride. But the original photo had been taken outside in an arena with a high, solid wood fence. I showed Dick several little oil sketches with different settings I imagined or adapted from photos of the Ames’ beautiful Minnesota river valley farm, Cedar Ridge Arabians. The idea using the road between the ponds with Matoi reflected in the water was the easy winner. Our next choice was to place the scene in autumn. Most daring, I will freely admit, was my decision to move the sun from behind the figures around to the front. I wanted more of Lara’s face in sunlight and more detail and shine on Matoi. My thanks to Dick Ames for entrusting me to paint his daughter and this remarkable little stallion.