December 21, 2008

Lucia and the Dala Horse

This watercolor was created for our 2003 Christmas card. I used one of my many St. Lucia figurines for the still life set up. The blue Dala horse came from Sweden.

December 20, 2008

I Wish you a Beary Christmas

I painted this Christmas bear in oil to be used for my Christmas card in 2007. He doesn't show up to his best advantage in this photo. He is quite striking against the dark background and framed in a black frame with a touch of red.

December 16, 2008

Flowers for December

Each year I paint a picture to be used as my Christmas card. This watercolor of winter flowers and cinnamon sticks was our Christmas greeting several years ago.

December 15, 2008


This is my grandaughter, Hannah, climbing a tree in Lake Tahoe. Hannah celebrated her 16th birthday last month. I struggled with this painting. I had just recovered from Valley Fever and had not painted for most of that year. My next painting of Hannah will be in her beautiful gown she wore to the Homecoming Dance. She was honored to represent her Sophomore Class in the Homecoming Court for Ronald Reagan High School.

November 23, 2008

Shepherd of the Hills Prayer Garden

In 2004 I was commissioned to paint a watercolor rendering of the proposed prayer garden/columbarium to be constructed at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Fountain Hills, Arizona. I walked the property where the columbarium was to be located and began to create the garden in my mind. I saw that the church would be in the background. I imagined sitting on a tree-shaded bench in the garden surrounded by winding paths on the gently sloping hillside in the midst of native plant life. A view of mountain vistas would create a peaceful oasis for visitors to linger, to meditate, and to pray.
The Columbarium structures would be in the form of large boulders, each containing 45 niches for cremated human remains and faced with engraved granite nameplates.
Returning to my studio with a set of architect's plans I was ready to "create" the garden on a large sheet of watercolor paper.
In April of 2005 the construction began. The dedication of the Prayer Garden was Sunday, April 9, 2006. The painting hangs in the vestibule of the church. In a few days I will post a picture of the actual garden as it looks today.

November 18, 2008

Too Much Sand for Carl

This is another watercolor of Carl at the Florida beach. His Grandmother Carole told me that he didn't want to get sand in his toes and kept his feet raised while he sat in his beach chair.

November 16, 2008

A Day at the Beach

I was commissioned to paint this portrait of of young mother, Rachel, holding her baby boy, Carl, at the beach in Florida.

November 15, 2008

The Octogon Cafe

The Octogon Cafe was located across from the beautiful fountain in Fountain Hills, Arizona. It was so relaxing to sit outside at a table with friends and sip an iced tea, watching the fountain rise into the sky with the mountains in the background. The owners, Jim and Cindy, supported the arts in the community and invited artists to display their works. I was asked to have a display and to paint one day a week at the restaurant. I had never painted before an audience and was not sure I could do this. To my surprise, once I began chatting with the customers I found I was relaxed and looked forward to my afternoons painting at the Octogon Cafe.

I recently visited Fountain Hills and my friend, Barbara, took me to lunch at their new lakeside location. I had a great reunion with Jim and saw the painting I had gifted them hanging on the wall. It occurred to me that I had not taken a photo of this painting and was glad for the opportunity be able to post it on my blog.

November 14, 2008

Capt. John

Last summer we spent a wonderful week-end with our cousins, John and Betty, at their lake house on Granbury Lake. To our delight, John took us for several long rides on their pontoon boat towing grandaughter, Hannah, behind us in a tube. She had a great ride! What fun.

November 12, 2008


A few years ago, my grandaughter, Missy, wanted to dress as a flapper for Halloween. I took the opportunity to teach her to sew as we created a bright red dress with lots of fringe. A black feather boa, rope pearls and sequined headband completed "the look".

This was a quick watercolor "sketch".

November 10, 2008


I think my grandson, Matt, lived most of his boyhood on a skateboard. One afternoon he was demonstrating some of his skills on the street in front of his house.

November 9, 2008


This is a pencil sketch I did of my grandaughter, Angela. As I am posting these paintings and drawings of my grandchildren I realize that I need to do some up-to-date paintings. How quickly the years have passed. Angela is the youngest and soon to be 16. She may have been 10 or 11 in this drawing.

November 8, 2008

Colors of Autumn

My least favorite color is orange and I forced myself to do this painting using the warm autumn colors. I was also doing the study to practice negative painting. The bright spot on the right side is the reflection of the flash as the painting was under glass when I snapped the picture. If I ever learn PhotoShop I can probably repair that.

This is one of the paintings that was purchased right off my wall by someone touring my house with a realtor. I was selling paintings but not the house. One more I didn't have to pack for the move to San Antonio.

November 6, 2008

Nestled in the Woods

This was a commission I did last year. The owners of this home were gifted this painting by their friends. I have no idea where this homesite is but it looks so inviting.

October 25, 2008

The Fountain Hillbillies

I have not posted anything new since returning from a great two-week vacation in Scottsdale, Arizona. We visited our old stomping grounds, Fountain Hills, and recalled precious memories of our 11 years there prior to moving to San Antonio.

I was reminded of this painting. Five years ago my son-in-law asked me to paint this picture of the Derksen family. They pastor Faith Mountain Church in Fountain Hills and somehow got the title of Fountain Hillbillies. You probably recognize Jed Clampett's jalopy. I painted them cruising down Saguaro Boulevard past the lake and the fountain. The faces of Mark, Carol, Mark, Jr. and Vicky were cut from photographs.

The Shaffers wrote lyrics to the theme music from "The Beverly Hillbillies" and sang it to them at a church celebration.

The Ballad of Mark Derksen

Com 'n listen to my story 'bout a man named Derksen

A bless-ed Christian man who tries not to sin

An' then one day, he was prayin' what to do

An' down from the cloud come a shinin' white hue.

God that is! Glorified! Cant's be denied!

Well, the first thing ya know, Ol' Mark's without a care

Holy Spirit said, "Derk move away from there."

Phoenix Arizony is the place that God wills,

so they loaded up white lightn' and they moved to the Hills.

Fountain that is! Palm trees! One hundred plus degrees?

Ol' Mark got a church home and he has God to thank

He didn't even have to see the pres'dent of a bank.

Lotsa folks objected, but the Lord found no fault,

'Cause ol' Mark's treasures are a buildin' in God's vault.

Riches that is! Heavenly wage! Derk's gettin' paid!

Well now it's time to say good-bye to Mark and all his kin

An' they would like to thank you folks fer kindly droppin' in.

You're all invited back again to this locality.

Ta' have a heapin' helpin' of their hospitality.

Spirit filled, that is! Shed yer cares off! Worship a while!

Y'all come back now, ya hear!

October 3, 2008

Coppini Academy Fall Show

Last night I was awarded a ribbon for "Tommy's Tom Tom". It took 3rd Place in the Watercolor Division at the Coppini Academy of Fine Art Members' Juried Fall Show of 2008. It was a beautiful show this year and many gifted artists entered their best works.
I painted this picture from a professional black and white glossy photograph of my father, Tommy Noll, taken in the '20's when he was a drummer in the big band era. Who would have thought at the time the photo was taken that it would be displayed at Coppini in San Antonio in 2008! I have always been proud of my Dad and painted him with love.

October 1, 2008

Riding the River II

This is my second attempt at this same scene. My earlier one was the first Riverwalk painting I did and seemd a bit "timid". I used more intense color in this one and am very pleased with the finished painting. Giclees in various sizes will be available at the gallery in a few weeks.

September 30, 2008

Crossing the River

Another Riverwalk painting for my watercolor series. I will soon have giclee prints of this available.

September 22, 2008

Colors of the Riverwalk

The fourth painting in my Riverwalk Watercolor Series.

September 20, 2008

Riverwalk Path

Away from the colorful umbrellas, restaurants and shops you can discover a peaceful, quiet, secluded path on the Riverwalk. The beautiful flowers and plants provide the color and the mature trees provide the shade. You may even share the path with a family of ducks taking a stroll.

September 19, 2008

Taking a Break

My second in the Riverwalk series of watercolor paintings.

September 18, 2008

Riding the River

One afternoon I strolled the Riverwalk and snapped photos with the intention of painting several Riverwalk scenes. This was my first painting in this series. The original watercolor has sold and I have prints in various sizes available at Susan Carlin's Gallery in LaVillita.

September 11, 2008

Let's Bake a Pie

When I look at this painting I think of the fun day spent in my studio with my sister-in-law, Charlotte, and her sister, Donna. Donna was visiting from Florida and wanted to have a creative day. The three of us painted this same basket of apples. I would demonstate for awhile and then they would work on their paintings. We went back and forth like this until I said "STOP". You artists know that is the hardest part... Knowing when to put that brush down. This was Charlotte's first stab at painting and her watercolor is signed, framed, and hangs in her kitchen. I'm so proud of you, Char! I hope that Donna has framed her masterpiece, too. I love to teach and am rewarded when I can help others discover their hidden talents.

Sketch Book Tote

My friend, Elaine Tarr, creates one of a kind fiber art. I had suede pelts that I had stored in my sewing stash for years, always intending to make good use of them. When I saw the work that Elaine was doing I gifted her the suede. In return, she fashioned a custom size tote to carry my sketch book. The bonus is on the inside... beautifully lined with contrasting fabric with pencil pockets! There is even room for my camera.
If you would like Elaine to customize a tote for your art supplies or want to surprise your artist friend with a unique gift contact:
Desert Vista Fiber Arts

September 4, 2008

A Man for All Seasons

Watercolor, 14x21

San Pedro Presbyterian Church has honored Reverend William H. Arnold by naming the Arnold Building in his memory. He served the church from 1988 to 1995. I was commissioned to paint this watercolor portrait of him to hang in the hallway of the Arnold Building. It was dedicated and unveiled by his wife, Mary. I asked Mary to name the portrait... she always called him her tall man of God.

The plaque on the frame reads: A Man for All Seasons and beneath that title Mary's Tall Man of God

This painting was a challenge as I was working from a small photograph. The robe read as solid black. Black in not a color on my palette so I worked to incorporate color in that start black clergical robe.

August 30, 2008

In Rembrance of Me

Pastor Jim Ulrikson led the worship service at Shepherd of the Hills Evangelical Lutheran Church in Fountain Hills, Arizona. After service was over I asked him to pose for a photograph standing at the altar and pouring the wine. Pr. Jim has been retired for many years and remains a faithful servant of the Lord teaching mid-week classes to the men and women of the church. Even though I have lived in San Antonio for three years, Pr. Jim continues to e-mail me his weekly lessons.

In celebrating Holy Communion each Sunday we are remembering Christ and all that He has done for us in His life, death, and resurrection.

He took the bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me."

In the same way, after supper he took the cup saying, " This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

I Corinthians 11:24

August 28, 2008

The Violet Bowl

African violets are my favorite house plant. I used to have very beautiful violets, but have not found the right spot for them to bloom in this house. I love the beautiful colors.... especially blues and purples.

oil on canvas board

August 27, 2008

Way out West

This is a quick little "sketch" I did one afernoon. Sometimes the quicker I paint, the fresher the painting looks, especially in watercolor. I like this look. It is not overworked.

August 20, 2008

Grandma's Red Blanket

My Grandaughter, Angela, was taking a nap in my recliner. She looked so comfy wrapped in my red blanket. As she was waking up I snapped a picture of her.

August 19, 2008

Burst of Color

I have always been excited by color. These are some of my favorites.
When I was a little girl I called this color "purpender". I guess I could not decide between purple and lavender.

August 2, 2008

Dream On

Dream On is an abstraction of reality incorporating realistic lilies with fantasy shapes tied together with spheres and blocks of color. I designed and cut the stamps. Inteference silver was used as accents throughout the painting. You can see this better if you double click on the image and enlarge it.

In January, 2008, I was awarded second place ribbon for Artist of the Month competition at The Coppini Academy of Fine Arts in San Antonio.

Below is the finished painting matted, framed in brushed silver and hanging above my mantel. I searched for a sphere shaped vase to display the lilies and repeat the design of the painting.

Water Lilies

This watercolor was done on bristol board. Unlike watercolor paper, the paint sits on the surface of bristol board. I like the watery look and the ability to keep painting, moving the paint around, and even removing paint if necessary.

July 31, 2008

I Close my Eyes in Order to See

This is the same Navajo dancer rendered in watercolor.

July 29, 2008

Squash Blossom

The beautiful Navajo girl in this painting was a dancer at a Pow Wow in Arizona. She is wearing a turquoise and silver squash blossom necklace. When Indian jewelry is mentioned, the symbol that often comes to mind is the squash blossom necklace. The Navajo word for the "squash blossom" bead is yo ne maze disya gi, which means simply "bead that spreads out." If you double click on the image it will enlarge and you can see the detail of the necklace.

This was my first figurative painting using oils. I also painted a different pose of her in watercolor. I may post that tomorrow.

July 28, 2008

Larger than Life

oil on canvas; 30x40

This larger than life Gerber daisy is painted on a stretched canvas. The petals wrap around the edges so no frame is necessary. My daughter wanted one giant red bloom for her dining room wall and it certainly makes a statement as you enter her red, white and black kitchen.

July 27, 2008

Pretty in a Pitcher

This was fun to paint. The antique pitcher was very beautiful. A friend purchased this for her office. We hung it on her wall "just to see" and without hesitation she said "sold"!
oil on canvas

July 24, 2008

Let's Bake a Pie

This painting brings back memories. Mom baked some delicious pies in this pie pan. The big can of Libby's pumpkin filled two of these pans to the rim. I can almost smell them baking. The old wooden rolling pin has been spinning for years. My son, Gregg, fashioned the tin flour scoop in Shop class many years ago. It resides in my flour canister today.

oil on canvas, 18x24

July 23, 2008

Soon to be Salsa

I continue to give oils a try. The handle on the pot looks awkward to me but that was the way it looked from my point of view.

oil on canvas panel

July 22, 2008

A Lemon, a Pear and a Jug, Oh My!

Getting brave now.... two fruits and a jug! What am I bid? Just kidding.
Oil on canvas board

July 21, 2008

"P" is for Pear

The pear I promised. What more can I say?

oil on canvas board

July 20, 2008

"A" is for Apple

I have decided to post some of my attempts at oil painting. Watercolors are generally painted from lightest value to darkest; oils are usually developed just the opposite... dark values to light, the highlight being the last icing on the cake. After painting solely with watercolors, this was an awkward switch for me. As you notice, I did not paint a person! I thought an apple would be a good starting place.

I will post some more oils this week. Maybe a pear!

July 19, 2008

The Heart of a Clown

Fred was a professional clown. His brother sent me a photo of Fred in his everyday attire and also a photo in his clown make-up and costume and requested I paint him using both photos. He wore a red padded heart on his clown suit and if you will look closely, I painted a red heart on his jacket. I love the message on his right hand glove.... HI. I used a full sheet of 300 lb Arches paper. Dick has this painting in his home in Ft. Meyers, Florida, to honor his brother's memory.
Double click on image to see a larger, more detailed view.


Narrated by Linda Su, the bride. The photo used for this watercolor was taken during our marriage vows on Saturday, May 26, 2007. It was at that moment, we were reflecting on our life together of five years; reflecting on the odds of us finding each other on the internet while living on opposite ends of the state; reflecting on the memories we made over this time; reflecting on our almost tragic auto accident and how we took care of each other and healed; and, most importantly, reflecting on the loss of our parents who could not physically be there with us on our wedding day, but who were there in spirit. (Karen A. Godshall, sister of the groom, took the original photograph used for this painting.)

Quiet Moments

I gifted the bride and groom two paintings of their wedding day. Since I did not attend their wedding in Pennsylvania, I asked Linda Su to name the paintings and write a brief narrative about each one. Narrated by Linda Su, the bride. The photo used for this watercolor was taken minutes before our wedding ceremony on Saturday, May 26, 2007. We had just walked outside from our neighbor’s house where we had gotten ready for our big day, and we began walking towards the barn where our two horses were waiting for us. I was very nervous, so Brett (without saying a word) took my hand to calm me down; he immediately put me at ease. We walked in silence through the field – the air was humid, the sun was hot, but Brett was cool and relaxed. We could hear the sounds of our 200 wedding guests next door who were awaiting our arrival by horseback. These quiet moments were truly priceless. (Karen A. Godshall, sister of the groom, took the original photograph used for this painting.)