Friday, September 30, 2011


My most wonderful son who lives in San Diego is having a birthday in a couple weeks...and as is my tradition I do a painting for him.  He LOVES my work...actually encourages my experimentation, so today I've begun a new piece in my signature style with PALM TREES as the subject this time.  I'm very excited to do this piece as I too ADORE palm trees...they are such interesting subject matter!...and, they remind me of my son...This photo doesn't show the changes in value from top to bottom, but you can see a bit of sun as it peeks through.

I've made some palm leaf stamps that will be part of this piece...and will soon start adding papers to bring it some good interest...stay tuned!  This has to be finished quickly so I can get it out to him!!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

REWORKING PAINTINGS, STUDIO AND LIFE we all know life is full of change and growth and surprises and disappointments etc, etc, etc...We've had those of late!  Our house hunt and pending offer came to a screeching halt as the information came in telling us it was getting WAY to complicated!  HAD we had the correct information from the beginning it would have saved us months of work and time...BUT, as life goes it tends to come in as needed rather than wanted...SO, we are putting the move on hold indefinitely and refocusing on life and work.  I had my 10 minutes of frustration and tears (mainly at all the lost time)...and then  began immediately to turn things around for the better...THUS the studio changes.  My space is I am re-configuring and changing things a bit so it works better for what I do.  New shelves gave me a more open feel and more storage space that works best for me...step number one! (PS...the big Raggedy Ann and Andy are a sentimental addition for me...I made them for my own two children when they were born...)

I am quite thrilled to have more time to get back to my art full time...or as near to it as I want!  I am already back at it with new paper cast molds...trees and my newest favorite subject matter...acorns...getting ready for a couple shows coming up.  I want to do larger paper cast aspen and a fun acorn piece that is mulling around in my head...
AND...since we are NOT moving in the immediate I have decided that Queen Bee that was originally done for my living room just didn't make me all that happy, so I am going to make her into a wonderful big 2'x2' aspen piece...I'm excited about the color, with a little bit of work it will be ready for trees! FUN!!...NEVER fear changing a piece that just doesn't strike joy into your can be VERY freeing!!
I have another tree piece that I will be reworking in the near stay tuned!!

AND, I can't help it...LOVE, LOVE this newest pic of my little 6 week old grandson, Paxton...This seems to be his signature tickles me to death...I miss that boy for sure!!  And his pretty mamma and wonderful dad!!
SO...I am happily creating and dreaming and's to you all...


Monday, September 26, 2011


12" x 25"
Mixed media on MDF panel with English Oak stained sides
$400 includes shipping in the US

I was FINALLY able to sit for a few minutes and finish this aspen mixed media piece.  That has been a feat considering the house hunt and all that goes with it.  I don't think I ever tire of playing with all the combinations that can happen with this way of working...So, YEA!

I want to introduce you to my niece; Kaitlinn Johnson who is an 8th grader in Texas and quite an accomplished artist!  My brother called last week to tell me she won a triple ribbon on her landscape that I was so excited to see and wanted to share it with you all here!
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this painting and just had to tell her just how it was a winner in my humble eyes...Just look at the great composition and contrast she has shown, not to mention the execution is also lovely!!  WAY TO GO KAITLINN!!
It is so important to recognize talent in emerging artists...they need our positive kudos and encouragement...Let's all watch for her name as she continues in her creative endeavors!

SO, the house hunt has been a great bit of time as you have already read...we are now in the financial ho ha as I call it, and I've got to tell you, quite frustrating...If there isn't a new document you need, it is a phone call for info you have to make; and when they don't call you back it stalls the whole process...and then there are all the government rules and hoops to jump through...I've got to tell you there are days I just want to throw my hands up and say ENOUGH...renting is JUST FINE! HA...but, we've come this I feel it would be a colossal waste of time if I stopped now...whew...I need strength!!

Yesterday I had planned to post my sweet niece's painting, but my husband came and asked me to go on a hike up behind our house...a little deeper than we've gone before, so I just stopped and went...and, was was SO beautiful up there and we had some surprises along the way...But, first to show you some of the color I found up there...
me finding color...ha
a great composition of oak leaves...
I call these pine berries...what in heavens name are they actually called??

And, then...we're waling along and who should we see...but...
I tell can't go anywhere anymore!! ha...He was just stuck up on a tree and for a second looks was a great laugh!
But, as we were walking back I glanced over my shoulder and was greeted with this beautiful view...aaahhh life...for a moment all the stresses of life today went away!  Enjoy!!


Monday, September 19, 2011


"Portrait of a Sunflower"
12" x 12" mixed media on MDF with English Oak cradled sides
AVAILABLE ON MY WEBSITE by clicking on the title so see others like it
OR YOU CAN USE PAY PAL by clicking on the button below!
It has been SO great getting back to work a little bit between house hunting!  I sat down yesterday and created this fun sunflower portrait with whimsical ribbons of the black and white weaving through...if you look closely you can also see it in a spiral in the center of the sunflower.  This piece is what I created on top of the "failed" painting from the other day.  The fun part of this is all the texture!!  To cover the previous work (which someone wanted to buy about 10 minutes too late as I'd covered it already!) I painted it with a layer of gesso...covered that with a layer of molding paste, and another layer of gesso...The English Oak sides fit perfectly with the subject matter (which MAY have been the reason I decided to do one more sunflower before the season ends).

Not to let much moss grow on my easel I'm already at work on a new aspen piece using mainly blue and orange in the background.  As we speak I'm busy with the addition of papers...and having a ball!!  


Sunday, September 18, 2011


Paxton Mark Grimes - 1 month
Last night I received this photo from my daughter's cell phone.  Again, I am thrilled with our technology that we can see things so quickly...especially things so dear to my heart!  I have been missing this little guy so much, so this was especially heartwarming!  I can assure you it is already printed and in a frame.  He is looking at his beautiful mamma here...and, as an artist, I imagine that he is studying her face as we do our subject matter...just planning how he will paint her...I couldn't NOT share emotions run deep these days!

A few minutes later there was another photo that warmed my heart yet again...a beautiful portrait of father and son...My son in law adores his boy, and you can surely see it here!
Aaahhh life...can be so wonderful!  And, as if that wasn't enough...I got yet another photo, but this time from my most wonderful son in San Diego...sharing yet another, that warmed my heart for another one that is far from me that I love so much!  I am surely a lucky woman to have such people to love and miss...
SO, another thank you for letting me use this venue to express my love and adoration for my family...and, I am most happy to report that I finished a painting...the one that took the place of the "failed" mountain scene from a day or so ago...By the time I finished painting it, it was too dark to it to say...tomorrow...until then...


Saturday, September 17, 2011


I am very tickled to have received the HONORABLE MENTION award from Colorado Watercolor Society's New Trend show that is currently hanging in the CoArt Gallery at 846 Santa Fe Drive in Denver, CO.  "Poppy Fields" was the painting.  When my friend Susan (who literally had to nag me to enter!!...thanks Susan) and I walked up to the show I was tickled to see "Poppy Fields" hanging in the window...and then so humbled to have gotten some notice later with the award!, the moral of the story is...some work and some don't...and I STILL maintain that each experience is valuable for different reasons!  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!  Learn from everything and you will be KING...or...QUEEN some day! HA
So, if you get a minute before Sept. 24th hop on down to the gallery to see this most fun show depicting NEW TRENDS...Thank you to Vicky Tucker to chaired a most successful event...!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Well, as promised...the "failed" painting and some discussion.  This up top is obviously a detail of the whole thing.  I'm including a before and after pic of the painting in it's evolution...and some explanation.  As you will see I modified the tree portion of the painting...hoping to bring a little more abstractive (is that even a WORD?) quality to something that, quite frankly, BORED me to death...the first version seen in the left hand side of the side by side pics was just was fair...but notice...several things bothered me that I had HOPED to help when I reworked the whole...#1...TOO MANY FOCAL AREAS COMPETING!...the mountains were strong...the trees covered a large area...and the orange contrasting with the purple in the mountains...yuck.they fought each other..and then ground...too much going on with what was going on up top... #2...not ENOUGH contrast to bring strength to anything but the mountains...but, come on...the trees were really SUPPOSED to be the focal...(this is due to a lack of true planning in the first, I urge you to take the time if you are "creating" a scene or an abstract, or you too may run in to this problem...
#3...let's face it...squint...similar values...kinda the same as lack of contrast, but I'm so bugged that I let this happen I'm saying it in a different way....In the second version there is a SMIDGE more value change...but it is like a failed romance...too little, too late...sigh...
#4...really...just a too typical, predictable composition...NO TRUE EXCITEMENT...look at the negative spaces (if you can find them)...boring shapes...I TRIED to bring a little more interest in changing the tree go...

I was inspired when I was at my grandson Paxton's dr visit one day by the artwork on the walls...I saw lots of circles and ovals and colors and, and, and...It was that is where the inspiration for the oval shapes of tree tops came from...I even made a stamp, planning to bring some contrast and seen here...It was a good idea...and I will probably use it again somewhere...Here's why it didn't work in this piece...
There seem to be two opposing styles competing for attention within the one "lolypop" type tree tops with the stamp was FUN...but the mountains are a bit realistic and traditionalistic (another made up word)...and they just don't work together...

In short...opposing styles...similar values making it boring...bad composition...yuck...NOW, AM I depressed because I produced such a sorry piece of work...NOT AT ALL...just look at what I was reminded of...what I learned...the EXPERIENCE...very, very valuable...And, to share...makes it that much better...In fact, I'm sure you out there can critique it even more...I mean, there are a LOT of issues with this poor little guy! HA...I don't fact, it would help us ALL...we can learn from Saundra's little "failure" and go on happier and smarter!! YIPPEE!! So give me your is a good thing!! Now, on to a better painting!! 

Happy Creating!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I'm constantly amazed at our technological abilities in this world.  I'm sitting here in the mountains of Colorado and I get a text from my most wonderful son who is sitting on his beach...Ocean Beach California and he shares his sunset with me.  I got goose bumps...I STILL have them!  On so many levels I am in awe of my son.  He has stamina to keep on keeping on in a world that is often so tough...he has the soul of a poet, he is amazingly talented on the skateboard...(remember his 3rd place in the WORLD for freestyle skating in Philly last year)...and he is a gentleman extraordinaire...his creative soul is alive and well, and he takes the time to share it with his old mom!  I am proud of my son that no matter what trials he faces he gets up and keeps on going...WAY TO GO JONATHAN!  I am most impressed with a person that doesn't give up...that doesn't loose his desire to improve...who never stops trying...that is my son. is a lesson to us all...NEVER GIVE UP!!  To share a beautiful thing with desire to make them smile...that is what we are all about as artists isn't it?...well, here is a beauty to behold from the heart and soul of my most artistic and wonderful son!  Thank you Jonathan!  You have most certainly passed on some smiles with this view of your world!  God Bless!!

Tomorrow I am going to share a "failure".  It is a painting I've reworked twice now and have decided that it is enough...I'm not afraid to admit "defeat" on some paintings...IF we can learn from those things that don't "work" then it isn't truly a "failure"...just a process that helps us to, for teaching purposes...I will share...stay tuned...But for tonight...let's enjoy a most perfect sunset that God gave us through my son...which is most certainly NOT a failure! YEA!


Saturday, September 10, 2011


"A Moment in the Sun"
6" x 6"
mixed media on gallery wrap canvas with texture

FINALLY I had an afternoon to paint! WHEW...I was beginning to think it wasn't going to happen!  This is a commission for a friend...and I'm happy to say it's finished (well, until I look at it tomorrow to make sure!)  

This piece had a color scheme in mind...thus the large center which will satisfy that I believe...So nice to do a sunflower at the end of the summer!

I've been back photographing my's brown now...the ONLY one the squirrels didn't get at...and that is saying a LOT as we have tons of scrub oak around my house...that's one FAT squirrel!  But, had to share!
And, it is official...we finally put a bid on a, the waiting game begins as we wait for the counter is definitely a diamond in the rough, but we look at it is a creative challenge...SO, along with my studio time will be time spent looking at flooring, appliances, drapery etc...FUN DOINS at the Galloway house!!

I think I've taken so many photos of the acorn I may have to paint it...but, the joyful thing is I can wake up and decide to paint anything I want! WOO HOO!!


Thursday, September 8, 2011


No, this is NOT a painting of is just an illustration to explain WHY I am miserably behind in my painting!  We are KNEE DEEP in house stuff.  Ever since I returned from baby I have been working the full time job of finding a house and all that goes with it.  Many miles back and forth between lenders and the house we THINK we found to bid on...and today is another one.  BUT, the good news is we think we found THE ONE...and it needs buckets of work...but the neighborhood is JUST what we wanted, so on we trudge through the tons of paperwork, the tests we have to take for the loan we want (I passed mine with flying colors...but don't ask me to answer the questions again, cuz I'd be in trouble...ha) and the measuring and meetings and, and, and...they want your SOUL in way of, on I go...HOPEFULLY to be back at my easel post haste!! I'm hoping the rest of you out there are KNEE DEEP in CREATING!!


Saturday, September 3, 2011


I'm noticing since I returned from spending time with my new, adorable grandson that I'm having a bit of difficulty finding balance between searching for a new home and my art.  I've spent a HUGE amount of time on line and out "in the field" as my husband puts it...searching for a home that will not dissapoint after living on 5 acres in the mountains, but will serve us both...WHEW...a huge task...HOWEVER, I am working hard to get back to my easel with new work...BUT, I did take time out to go to see the Mountainside Miniatures show at the FOOTHILLS ART CENTER in GOLDEN, CO.  I won the CHAIRPERSON AWARD for my ACORN DUO and was tickled.  I was tickled to even get in this national show in the first place.  The competition was stiff and I felt lucky to even get two of the three I entered in!

I have, however begun a commission piece of a sunflower that was a specific color request...the background is a neutral with a bit of sky thrown in...and I'm playing around with different pics of sunflowers I've taken...haven't decided yet which I will use. Here is another brave soul that decided to bloom on our delicate!
And, I'm happy to report that I got at least one more acorn pic from our scrub oak in front of the house that the birds DIDN'T find!...always sharing!! :)
He's SO cute...I can feel another acorn piece in my future!!  So, here's hoping that I find that awesome balance between house hunting and creating!  I hope you all are finding balance in your lives as's to it!!


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