Monday, June 3, 2019

Running Horses 36"x 36" Oil on Canvas

'Running Horses' came about because I paint horses a lot and always have trouble with foreshortening when it comes to the heads. I painted the left horse seven times until I finally had to give up and call it quits. Now, much later, I like it and wouldn't change anything. I donated this painting to the Lone Star Cattlemen's Association who raise money for youth projects and scholarships. Their fundraiser was held at an exotic game ranch south of Austin where they have an event facility and Pavillion for large gatherings. They were very generous in buying this painting at auction, the proceeds going to the kids. Below shows how the painting was displayed at the auction.

My daughter, Stacy, whom I have dubbed the 'Pearl Mesta of Allandale' for her party planning acumen, was in charge of organizing this event and pulled it off without a hitch.

Took-Forever Abstract Acrylic on Gatorboard 24'x 38"

This is an experiment I tried that I like, but for a lot of people it is not their favorite! I've always had a  problem with being too controlled in my  painting and I think this is the epitome of control. So, I keep this one just to remind me not to be that way! I need to loosen up. But, still l look at this painting every day and never get tired of it—for me it's mesmerizing, it lets your thoughts go everywhere and never come to a conclusion. It took me three months because I could only do every other square before I had to remove the tape (carefully), wait for that square to dry and then do another one. Tedious!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

California Still Life 8x10 Oil on Watercolor Paper

This is a painting I did in Carmel, California one summer when we vacationed there. I didn't have any canvas with me so this was done on heavy cold-pressed watercolor paper that had been sprayed with fixative to keep the paint from soaking into the paper. Then I taped the edges down on a piece of foam board as if I were doing a watercolor. I've done several paintings like this, and I enjoy the feel of oil painting on paper. Plus when you're traveling it's very light and easy to transport. If it won't be too long I put a piece of wax paper on top and slip them into an expanding  file folder until I get home. If need be, they can easily be touched up. When I frame them I put them behind glass, just because of the paper.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Horse Eating in the Sun 6"x8" Oil on Canvas

I have painted this horse several times, mostly on small canvases. The light on this horse intrigues me, especially because he's a pinto, or paint horse - he does have some black in his mane and tail, so there are all different ways the light is being reflected—off white and deep brown, and even greenish yellow reflecting up from the ground on his belly; and the shadows are long because it was late afternoon, so there's a bluish cast to them.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

This painting is oil on canvas. It's done from a photograph I took in Mexico. Before it sold, the image was used for a poster advertising an art exhibit at 120ART Gallery in Taylor, Texas. The theme was Dog Days.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Felos and Abracadabra - Pastel on Paper 4'x6'
This is a pastel on paper of two of my horses that I photographed several years ago. Abracadabra is the  darker one. He got his name because no one knew his mom was pregnant (or how she got that way!) and one morning the owner went out to feed the horses and there he was - Abracadabra! This painting was done on background photo paper - the kind used for backgrounds when you need one. It's usually several feet wide and comes on a roll, this one is a light gray color. I fixed it with La Tour final fix by Sennelier when it was all finished. The painting is large, 6 feet by 4 feet. I made a line drawing first from the photo and used the projector to get the drawing correct on the paper. Then the real work began. Felos was white, but I didn't like the way it was working so I changed him to a palomino. They were originally standing in tall grass so I couldn't see their feet to paint them. I changed the grass to water with some splashes in it that I thought made it a more interesting painting.

Limes and Coconut

Limes and Coconut - Oil on Canvas 12"x12"
Still life with limes and coconut. The white part of the coconut gave me fits.  It's much darker than you think even though it shows up very white under the light. I had to keep mixing raw umber (and a tiny bit of U-blue) into the white to get it the way I wanted. The reflections in the bowl were fun to do. At first you don't see them, you have to focus on the bowl and sometimes look away. I used a Susan Sarback trick to see them. Hold your hands cupped over your eyes until you see no light whatsoever. Keep your eyes OPEN while you're  doing this - maybe a minute - and then quickly take your hands away and look at the bowl. You will see many things you didn't before but just remember the flicks of color or light you see because they will fade. Paint them in and do the hand thing again if you need to.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Horse Lying Down, Longhorn Red Clay - 2011

This is a clay sculpture done with the coil method. It's about 2 feet by 15 inches tall now, but will shrink a bit when fired. I will post the glazed and fired finished product if it makes it through the first firing intact!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Intense Woman oil on canvas board 5x7

This was done from a black and white photograph. I used it for practice with eyes and painted with vivid colors to give it a 'fauve' touch.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Painting Glass

This is lesson number II of painting glass, water and air with Laurel Daniel at AMOA Laguna Gloria School of Art in Austin, Texas. At first I wasn't sure I could do it, but with a little practice, things are looking up.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lester on Horse oil on board 12x16

Lester Stiles on his ranch in Thrall, Texas getting ready to go out and move some cattle.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Simple Landscape! 6x8 oil on canvas

On the heels of a workshop with Carol Marine I took a class from Laurel Daniel - lucky me! Two of the very best painters and teachers in the world and right in my "backyard". I still can't get over it. So, this was my first landscape - our first class was held inside due to rain, but we learned the basics of blocking in that I applied here. It's very simple because I was diligently following the rules... darkest dark (uprights), lightest light (flat plains) and then in between. I worked the whole class period on it, almost 3 hours, I love it. And my teacher rocks!

Pinto Horse 9x12 oil on canvas

A horse in Minnesota at a riding stable that we used to go to each summer when we were on vacation.

India 9x12 acrylic on canvas

This was a fun paintings to do. India was my cat at first, but then ended up living with my daughter Stacy's friend Edie. She (India) is now in cat heaven probably sunning herself in some celestial window. Painting in acrylic makes me wild and this painting shows it - I get a little of that "fauve" spirit in me and I have fun.

Frans 9x12 acrylic on canvas

When I paint in acrylic my style completely changes and I'm not sure why. It might be that the colors are "edgier", I have trouble mixing them, and they dry a shade or two darker. I paint faster because they dry fast, and by that I mean they get kind of sticky, but they don't dry completely until the next day so you have to wait to see if you like it. Frans has such distinct, chiseled features that they just begged to be painted and I did, albeit, from a photograph taken in 1985. And the eyes were fun to paint - I love to do eyes. I have to thank Tyler Norman, a portrait painter and very good friend I've studied with for my success with eyes - she is a master.

Dark Horse 11x14 Oil on Canvas

I call this painting "Dark Horse" because I don't know who it is! It's done partly from a photo and partly from memory. I have a thing for eyes and this horse gave me some practice time on horse eyes. It was fun to do and I'm happy with the outcome. I gave it to my friend Jo Anderson who owns Anderson-O'brien Art Gallery in Omaha's Old Town. Jo and I go back years and we had many wild 
experiences with our horses and dogs.

Felos and Abracadabra 5x7 oil on canvas

I did this small oil painting from a photograph of two horses I had when I lived on the farm at Rice's Crossing in Texas. They are running in the hayfield having a good time. Felos is an Arabian and Abracadabra is an Arabian cross. Both are fine jumpers.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Horse and Heart oil on canvas 11x14

This is a small painting I did from life for a class with Gladys Poorte, it's very exact, not really how I usually paint, but a nice learning experience, and Gladys was a delightful teacher. The horse is one I sculpted from plasticine clay and the heart is one from my collection as my birthday falls on Valentine's Day. The beads were from New Years Eve 2008, the first year I celebrated New Years as a single woman after 43 years of marriage. The painted blocks were a project I did for myself after a workshop with Susan Sarback—to learn how to see color.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pink Flower Study 8x10 oil on canvas

This is a study I did for a class with Laurel Daniel. I started it in the classroom, but had to finish it at home so I had to rely on a photo to get the details in. I don't like to paint from photographs because they differ from the view you have when painting from life. The camera tends to flatten the plane so it's important to get the perspective right when you have the actual subject in front of you. I think I accomplished that much and I am fairly happy with the outcome.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Cottage in California Watercolor 5.5"x8"
This is a watercolor of a cottage that we stayed in while on vacation in Southern California.
This is

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Heavenly Dog - Red in a Tutu

Red on a Cloud oil on board 8"x10"
Red belonged to three little redheads, Alexandra 11, Emily 8 and Olivia 5 who live in Dallas. They found her at the pound and had to have her when they found out her name was actually "Red". Sadly Red became ill and now is on her cloud in Dog Heaven watching over her three charges. It is said that angel dogs make their way invisibly back down to earth to check on things and we're sure Red does that often.