The road to Vegas. That billboard advertises a pawn shop.

Monsoons and great desert color.


Off Cabrillo Memorial Dr. About 4x5"


Plein air sketches by bike! About 4x6", San Diego River and Mission Bay. Very grey day.


Chewy, 9 x 9"

Just spent a week housesitting and caring for this very sweet, aging Pomeranian that we've known for eleven years. I am not a dog person, but she's pretty special.


Near Escondido. 4-5" x6"


The Point from Shelter Island, 4 x 5"

Scripps Ranch, 4 x 9"


Found Rose, 9" x 5"


Near Campo. 4" x 6"

Santa Ysabel open space. 5" x 7" Five-minute sketch.

All of these are small, quickly-done plein air sketches as I get acquainted with the medium. Single biggest factor in the outcome is the paper, which makes a profound difference.


3.5" x 9"

The view from A-1 Storage, bay and waterfront. 5" x 9"

East county field, off 94. 5" x 9"


Near Barrett Junction. 3.5" x 9.5"

Along 94 near Barrett Junction. 4" x 9"

Along 94, 7" x 5". Three-minute sketch.

Watercolor really is a completely different language. With lots of dialects.


And now for something completely different

Honey Springs Rd at 94. 3.5" x 9"

Otay Lake 4" x  8"

Along 94, 3" x 5"

Exploration in watercolor.


Re-bedding the Lower Shroud Deck Plates

A year ago, I wouldn't have even known what that means. Now I actually know how it's done. Much more enjoyable to draw my husband while he's working on it, though. :)

Walnut ink, about 6x6" each. He was working, not posing, so these were done in 1 - 3 minutes each. Out of eighteen, these are some I like.




All small, from 8X10 to 4X5, oil on gessoed paper.  This last one is on dacron sail cloth, re-purposing a headsail that was destroyed in a windstorm.


Small ones

Quarry, 6 x 8", oil

Camino del Dinero, 6 x 8", oil



11 X 14, oil.  Revised.  I think "subject to change" is a good name for a painting.


56 Bike Path

11 X 14 oil.  Subject to change, work in progress.


Vallecito Valley

Vallecito Stage Station park along county S2, towards Ocotillo.  I passed this scene on my bike during the Stagecoach Century in 2010.  11 X 14 oil.


San Dieguito

11 X 14, oil

14 x 11, oil


Back to Work

Now that I live in a marine environment, what did I most want to paint once I got the oils back out of storage?  The desert, of course! Warmth and sunshine, and dry air.  These two studies were each done in 30 minutes, because my tendency after a layoff is to overthink.  A time limit results in a response to the scene, rather than an attempt to remember "rules" about how to paint.

Yaqui Pass, Anza Borrego.  11 X 14"  oil

Yaqui Pass 2, 14 X 11" oil


Home on the Ranger

We've lived aboard our Ranger 33 for three weeks now, and it has been intense. Some extreme highs and lows (like the tides, right?) but mostly good and truly exhilarating in ways that defy description.  Living on a boat puts one so close to the weather, as my husband has always said, and also incredibly close to all the life around us.  We can actually hear the fish through the hull.  We have toadfish here, who make a magical croaky humming sound that's only audible onboard the boat, every evening as we're going to sleep.  There are small shrimp that make a sound against the hull that's very similar to milk being poured on Rice Krispies.  Not to mention the bird life, varied and stunning.  We share the docks with several species of herons, who pretty much take over during the nighttime hours.  They're generally pretty tolerant of the humans, but when disturbed (quite often), they unleash quite a scolding.  Their beautiful presence is never unnoticed, in one form or another:

The boat itself is a work in progress, as they always are, which makes them a perfect metaphor for life and art.  And just as in artwork, simplification adds strength.  We've made the conscious decision to forgo any unnecessary complication.  No microwave, no hot water, minimal plumbing, a composting head instead of a holding tank.  The very fact of living in such a small space means that all possessions are carefully considered, and nothing superfluous comes aboard.

If it's true that the unexamined life is not worth living, then the ultra-examined life must be exceptionally worthwhile.  It feels that way to me.  I'll have some new work to post soon.


A couple earlier sketches...

Here are a couple small works that I never posted last fall when I did them.

Abstracted view of a saltwater marsh--started as an underpainting, but stopped at an interesting point.
6 X 8", gouache on paper

Young magnolia tree, plein air graphite, 6" X 4".