Monday, November 19, 2012

Beautiful Barn

When I was in Utah, we drove (or rollerskied, sometimes) past this barn every day on the way to practice.  Normally I like old falling-down barns the best, but this one was new and really beautiful.  I later found out that it was a re-build of an old barn (the Tate barn) that had fallen down, and that now it wasn't really in was rebuilt because it was so iconic and now it seems to be used to store golf carts.   This make me sad.  But its still pretty to look at.  And in general, I support the building of new barns and hope to build one myself some day.  That way in the future we will continue to have old, falling down beautiful barns!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Aspens to Infinity

I'm in Utah right now for a biathlon training camp, so it only seemed fitting to make at least one Utah painting while I was out here.  But I decided that before I was going to paint an aspen grove, I needed some masking fluid.  I'd been meaning to experiment with masking fluid for a while, so this was the perfect time to do it!  Masking fluid is basically like rubber cement that you can paint on the the paper, and it dries into a thin rubbery film.  You can then paint over it and it protects the paper wherever you put it.  When you pull it off, you have nice clean white paper underneath!  It was really fun to use, and fun to peel off too--like peeling of a really bad blistered sunburn.  The leaves had actually already fallen off most of the aspens when we got here, but I had to add them back in because I just love their bright yellow color.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I've been watching all summer as more and more windmills slowly appear on the horizon.  Everything else aside, I think that they're beautiful--like big functional kinetic sculptures.  Our landscape in Vermont has been shaped so much by humans already--the fields, barns, stone walls, rows of corn.  Many parts of this human-created landscape are what make Vermont beautiful.  And they also serve(d) a function.  Plus, the world needs more windmills and fewer oil-wells.  

I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with this painting, but thats OK.  I'm trying to experiment more with being less constrained by copying photographs, and instead just trying to create the right light or texture or pattern.  Its hard!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Late Summer Cows

I'm a little behind the seasons with my paintings.   This one looks spring-y, but its actually from a picture I took in late summer.  But clearly I need to do some fall paintings.  The only problem is that I've done a horrible job of taking good fall pictures.  If you have any pretty fall pictures, send them my way!
I also tried not to get too stuck in being super-realistic with this one.  Some of my favorite paintings are the most stylized ones, but sometimes I get in a rut with copying photographs too closely.  It helped that the photo I used for most of this painting was really bad and washed out and didn't show the sky at all, so I was forced to be a bit more creative.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pigs in Shit

Happy pigs from Norah and Chris' farm.  Pigs are great to photograph and paint--they are real hams for the camera (or maybe they're just really curious about the shiny metal snout-shaped thing) and then have tons of expression and character in their faces and body language.

Watercolor, 10 x 14

Monday, August 13, 2012


I visited my friends' Norah and Chris' new farm a few weeks ago.  (Or maybe its been longer by now, I'm losing track of time!)  This is a portrait of a couple of their chickens.  The chickens had an awesome pasture that was quite big and had nice layers of plants and grass for tasty bugs and things to live in.  The chickens were so bold and red against the bright green leaves and grass, so I had to try to capture it, though the glow of the green and red was tricky to really capture.
Their farm was awesome!  There might be some pig paintings coming too...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Goofy Goat

I've been painting more than I've been posting here, I swear!  This one is actually from almost two weeks ago.  And there's been at least one more in progress and one gift painting since my last post.  But admittedly, I went for a little while without painting, primarily because I was home in Craftsbury for three whole weeks.  When I'm home, there's always something that seems more pressing than painting--like helping to keep the gardens under control and the peas and zucchinis at a reasonable size.  But now I'm back at the OTC, so I should have time to paint more, assuming I can stop watching the olympics for a few minutes.
This goofy little goat really did have this silly little sideways smile, and it was also almost this skinny...though I think I inadvertently may have made its neck a bit too long. It was fun to paint though, and I'm really happy with how the grass came out.  Grass is one of the hardest things to paint, in my opinion.

Watercolor, 16 x 11

Monday, June 11, 2012

Goats and Greens

Veggie fields at Pete's Greens.  Oil on hardboard.

For the past week here in Lake Placid, I've been concurrently working on two paintings: an oil painting, and a watercolor.  This works well because oil paint dries slowly and often I need to give the painting a day or two to dry before I can continue working on it without the lights and darks getting all muddled together.  I suppose I could have done two oil paintings at once, but its fun to switch back and forth--both mediums have their pros and cons.
Both of these paintings presented challenges to me--I had to re-do the rows of seedlings quite a few times before I was satisfied.  But the baby goats were especially hard.  Its hard enough to capture the essence of one creature--let alone a whole bunch at once.  I'm still not happy with them!  I think I should start doing more animal paintings--they're a good challenge.

Baby Goats.  There's no way they would have been in a row
like this without a fence.  Maybe I should have painted the
fence too?  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Kowhai and Frederick

This painting isn't for sale, but I wanted to post something so that my multitudes of blog readers (hehe) would know that I am still in fact painting.  I visited Nils at his family's farm in Maine, and had lots of fun helping out (playing) with the goats.  I helped pull this particular baby goat into the world.  We named him Frederick.  Sadly his mother, Kowhai, died from complications with a second baby.  So I made this painting in memory of her.  She was a very nice goat.
I painted it during my first biathlon-training stint in Lake Placid. Painting things like this is a great way for me to stay sane while living at the olympic training center there.  I'm going to be spending quite a bit more time there this summer, so that should ensure more paintings!  And I took lots of baby goat pictures, so there will probably be some more baby goat paintings too!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring greens!

Despite being not in Vermont, as soon as the ski season was over I was getting a hankering to paint some springtime-in-VT colors. So I dug up some of the photos I took last spring when the grass and trees were so bright green that whenever I tried to paint them they just looked fake. I decided that I wanted to do a little bit of experimenting with brighter colors and less careful copying of reality. And it was fun! The inspiration for these two paintings came from my favorite VT artists--Woody Jackson (top one) and Sabra Field (bottom). Now I'm excited to get home and do some paintings of this spring!
Both are watercolor, 9 x 12.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sugaring-Season Barn

One of my favorite places in the world: "Dumdum's" Farm in West Fairlee, VT. Growing up, we'd go to the farm every sugaring season, Easter, and thanksgiving, as well as random other times to help my grandpa get in the sugar wood or do work around the farm. This year sugaring season came early and was very short. I only got in one solid day of sugaring between ski races and travel. But it was a beautiful bluebird sugaring-season day, and we did a little bit of everything--tapped trees, checked the lines, hiked to the top of the hill, boiled all day, made several batches of syrup, and did a lot of sitting out in the sun.
Watercolor, 9x12.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Well, I went for too long without painting or posting anything here. That long without any art is bad for my sanity!
I decided that I wanted to paint something fun and quick, and I'd had so much fun painting that bright sunset that I decided to just do another variation of it! Sunsets are great because they change quickly so you can take lots of pictures that look pretty different. Plus they're basically just an abstraction anyway, so its a great opportunity to just get the page really wet and slap on lots of brightly colored paint and let it all run together and see what happens. I normally paint on dry paper and don't take much advantage of the bleeding effects of watercolor, so this was a good little break from being meticulous all the time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Snowy Shadows

I'm still in Canmore, but this painting is from a photo I took in Craftsbury. Looking through the crab apple tree on Murphy's field. Its pretty similar to some other wintery-shadowy paintings I did last year. So I guess in that sense its a bit boring, but I had fun painting it! I love when nature creates such bold contrasts, deep colors, and almost abstract shapes and patterns. And as always I'm also enamored of trees of all types.
Looking back at the painting now, I'm not sure I gave the sun enough warmth--I might have to go back and fix that!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Canmore, Alberta

Right now I'm in Canmore, Alberta, getting ready to race in biathlon IBU cup races this coming Wednesday and Thursday. This is my first time in Canmore, and it is SOOOO beautiful here, I'm still in awe. The mountains are so big and sheer and exhilarating. It makes me just want to be outside all the time, taking it in. I also have to be careful when I ski, because I have a tendency to want to go fast here!

This is the view you get after a 10 minute run from our condo, looking toward the Three Sisters. (You get the same view from the condo, except with a few more buildings and grocery stores cluttering it up.) I also thought it might be interesting to include the photo that I based it off of.

The painting may not be quite done--its still in the "looking at it from afar lots of times and fixing anything that bothers me" stage that all my paintings go through. But that could last for several days, so I wanted to get it up here anyway!

The Three Sisters 9x12 Watercolor

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


For some reason I usually end up painting Craftsbury even when I'm in other places, even if they're pretty cool. Right now I'm in Slovakia racing at the biathlon U-26 European Championships. The hills around here remind me of home though. This painting is from a photo of Clare Egan skiing in Murphy's field after our big Thanksgiving snow storm this year. I raced the sunset from Elinor's to Murphy's, and when I got there it had gotten at least 10 times better!
Watercolor 8x12.

Friday, January 27, 2012


I'm testing this blog to see what it looks like with a post. At least the writing doesn't seem to be in Slovak anymore!
The idea of this blog is to be a visual blog, not a writing blog. But I guess I'll write a little bit when I post pictures of my paintings, or whatever other pictures I might post.
This painting is from a photograph I took last week while in Ridnauntal, Italy. With some friends, I hiked with sleds up a snowy trail to the Stadlalm--a hut where they sold food and drinks. We drank small Weissbiers, and then sledded all the way back down the switchbacks.
I was in Ridnaun training for biathlon. It snowed at least a foot while I was there, and there was probably almost 3 feet total. Luckily it eventually stopped snowing and the sun came out!
I've tentatively titled this "Towards the Stadlalm".
It's watercolor, 8 x 12 in.