Friday, November 2, 2012

Here's a great article by Robert Genn. If you want  to receive the Twice Weekly publication from Robert Genn  go to: The Painter's Keys website

"Jack" got a BFA and then an MFA from a Midwestern University. He's visited many of the major contemporary art museums and follows the work of several "important" contemporary painters. He's written articles on Philip Guston and others. He subscribes to several art magazines and is "the most knowledgeable art-guy in any discussion." After university he worked for a while in a commercial art gallery. He sometimes writes me long, well-informed letters. He's painted eleven large paintings (two unfinished) since leaving school. He's not represented by any gallery. He thinks you need to move to New York and "get lucky" with a dealer who "really represents you."

"Jill" took two years of art school and then quit. She pays little attention to other artists. She subscribes to no art magazines but has taken several workshops. Her hobbies include bowling and travelling. At one time she also worked in a commercial art gallery. On two or three occasions she's written to me. She's painted "approximately two thousand paintings" since leaving school. She's represented by four commercial galleries in four, well-separated mid-sized cities.

There's a great story in David Bayles and Ted Orland's Art and Fear. Here it is: 

"The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of the work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: On the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work in the "quantity" group: fifty pounds of pots rated an "A", forty pounds a "B" and so on. Those being graded on "quality," however, needed to produce only one pot--albeit a perfect one--to get an "A". Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of the highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the "quantity" group was busy turning out piles of work--and learning from their mistakes--the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay."

Best regards,


PS: "Artists get better by sharpening their skills or by acquiring new ones; they get better by learning to work, and by learning from their work." (David Bayles and Ted Orland)

Esoterica: Both subscribers Jack and Jill are thoughtful and enthusiastic artists. Art is central to their lives. And while success and "being able to function as a full time artist" may not be important to some of us, their current situations are quite different. Jack rents an apartment and makes $2150 per month (plus tips and benefits) as an airport porter. Jill works daily in her converted garage in a home she now owns. These days she's averaging $18,000 per month. She has "no benefits."
(c) Copyright 2012 Robert Genn.


Autumn provides an array of lovely golds, reds and violets seldom seen in the summer. In this painting I hoped to convey a less intense sun and the fading colors as they will soon give way to the duller browns and grays of late fall and winter. The undisturbed heron adds a note of restfulness; a prelude to the quiet, peaceful, snowy days ahead.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


The long shadows and sunlight playing on the tall grasses attracted my attention to this peaceful  scene. The  light reflecting onto the trunks of the trees was particularly interesting to me.

Friday, September 7, 2012


The soft evening light skimmed across the tops of the  trees in the distance and on the tops of the trees planted in a wind row. Just beyond my back yard this scene  frequently provides a visual feast, often including sandhill cranes, turkeys, hawks, geese, or deer, and an occasional fox, coyote, or bald eagle.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

MONCHES FARM (en plein air)

Monches Farm 9.5 x 7.
This piece was completed on a lovely May day at Monches Farm near Colgate, WI, painted during a workshop with James Hempel. It was a privelege to paint with James and I learned a lot from him that day. I see color differently now and I learned a new color - bluorange - a nice blue/orange used in certain shadow areas.
James Hempel is an outstanding Wisconsin artist and instructor. See the recent article about James in Outdoor Painter Magazine | Painting Large in a Quick Draw Event | Home of Plein Air Magazine

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


                                         The River Runs North  10 x 14 Field sketch
        The River Runs North 16 x 22 Studio piece completed from the field sketch.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Marsh / March Migration 16 x 26

Even though we had a mild winter the early arrival of the Canada geese was a welcome sound and sight. Just days after their arrival the temperature reached 70 degrees, how did they know? I'm still undecided on the title of this painting.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


We had very little snow this year so the landscape was mostly browns and grays. Here the pines and the blue of the water with the icy edge provided a bit of color.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Wisconsin provides endless subject matter, but this was a beautiful water fall in North Carolina, painted for my son and his wife from a reference photo. The location is a special place to them. I concentrated on the light patterns on the boulders which provided nice abstract shapes.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


On this last day of February I send you Valentine Greetings through this painting. I loved the complementary colors of the sky and the flaming maple tree. It was SO red it made me think of Valentine hearts. Notice the paint on the boulder on the left. The initials proclaiming their love for all to see were already there, but I changed them to reflect my maiden name and my husband's. D.K. + S.M., still together after 38, soon to be 39 years.

Monday, February 13, 2012


I enjoy painting in my studio in the winter, where I can transport myself to any season using my field sketches, photographs, and imagination as I try to recall my initial response to a particular time and place.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Deep snow covers the stream banks allowing very little vegetation to peak through. This painting depicts a cold, calm winter day; it seems the only thing moving is the stream.    

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Here is the latest painting to be added to the Paint The Parks page of my website. I have agreed to donate 10% of the sale of this painting to the Ice Age National Scenic Trails. To see the paintings of other artists who have been inspired to paint the beauty of our nation's parks go to


At Twilight 9 x 12
Each January I clean out the studio and take inventory. It is always refreshing to start the new year with a clean and organized studio, and a list of goals for the new year. As part of my January studio clean-up and to make room for new art I have added a  new and temporary page to my website - WINTER SALE - Currently there are nine images of paintings in the WINTER SALE. This would be a great time to add an original pastel painting of the Wisconsin landscape to the walls of your home or office. To view the other eight images in the WINTER SALE please go to my website.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Distance views have always attracted my attention. I was particularly attracted by the almost smoky haze on the distant hills and the  soft sunlight on the distant fields.  The fore-ground presented interesting patterns of light and shadow on the foliage and the grasses. This one was especially fun to paint.