Artwork and Farming notes from Mockingbird Farm

plein air painting

A tiny plein air painting from September; two sycamore trees at the side of a stream.

Photo and painting

A few 'insets' of my paintings in the reference photos I used to paint them. Featuring my pasture and my neighbor's cows!

Shriver's Ridge Sunset

The November sunset view from the ridge. My son was trying to create a downhill mountainbiking trail on this steep ridge, and we were admiring his progress one evening just as the sun was setting. I started the piece and then had to set it aside for a few months, but I managed to finish this fall.

11x14 inches, oil on wooden panel

Moths, Cecropia and Polyphemus

Had some trouble with this post; the site 'ate' my description twice already - so I'll just say that these are some lovely Saturnid moths I met!

5x7 inch oil on wooden panel


Two more small paintings, 5x7 in, oil on a wooden panel. The Cecropia moth my daughter found dead when she was out for an early morning walk. Their adult lives are so short. The Ployphemus in the second painting I found sitting very quietly on the trail when I was hiking on the mountain. I scooped it up and moved it to a safer spot; it must have been newly hatched.

Sunset at Snowshoe

Two commissions I painted for a lady who vacations at Snowshoe West Virginia. She sent me the photos and they were really enjoyable to work from. I don't usually use someone else's photos, but it worked just fine in this case! Maybe next year I'll be able to catch a sunrise there; I have yet to see one that wasn't obscured by trees or too foggy/cloudy.

Snowshoe West Virginia

I had the chance to do some plein air painting in Snowshoe early in August. It is a lovely place and I had packed a handful of 5x7 inch (13x18 cm) wooden panels. My first site was right along the main road, actually, because there was a magnificent display of wildflowers between the spruce forest and the road. The blue ones are called 'viper's bugloss', a thorny little thistle that rarely blooms in such abundance.

The next day I took the ski lift down to the lake area, and sat beside the hiking trail to paint. It's such a lovely place, I hope to go back next summer. This painting sold before the paint was fully dry.

Snow and Ice in Summertime

My favorite time to look at paintings of snow and ice is when it's miserably hot out - and today qualifies!

Mini paintings for July 2020

I cut seven small wooden panels (5x7 inches, about 12x18 cm) a few months back, but didn't get any time to paint in late winter or spring. By the end of June I was dying to pick up my brushes again. I started working on the small pieces because my time is still pretty limited, but a 2-3 hour pieces is doable. It's so important to actually finish the darned things! So, here are three of them.

Misty Bus Ride came from a photo my daughter took last fall on the way to school.

Tiny Waterfall is from a photo my son took last spring at a little watercourse near Lake Koon, PA. It's a favorite spot that we try to visit a time or two every year. It's especially beautiful when it's running high in the spring!

Red Barn Rainbow is from a photo my husband took this May; we have had a lot of evening thunderstorms that result in rainbows. That barn is on my father's farm, just a short distance from where we live currently.

Recently got some time to paint again

I haven't had time/energy to paint for nearly half a year. Last week I was able to sit down with some mini wooden panels and do a few quickies. Credit to my daught Katy for the photo of the sunset and my son Alex for the photo of the woods! I did the sunset (the Narrows in Cumberland is in the background) with palette knife just to try it, then did a second one with brushes because - well, just because I felt like it. Still had some paint on my palette. The snow scene looks infinitely more inviting now during the heat of July than it did when I first saw the picture in mid-winter. Credit for that photo goes to J. Siehler in Kasota, Minnesota.

Stream by Koon Lake

We found a tiny feeder stream at neaby Koon Lake in Pennsylvania. It was a chance discovery made when my teenage son was kept out of school for a while with a chronic illness - we needed and 'adventure' to cheer us both up. We took plenty of pictures there, and I did this trio of drawings on my favorite toned paper. Just recently we went back to see it in winter, and took more pictures (of course). I started another drawing, because time has been very tight for me, lately, and I can find time to fit drawing into my schedule easier than painting. You'd think that drawing and painting would take about the same mental effort, but for me drawing seems much easier. Also no brushes to clean at the end! Just put the cap back on the pen, set the colored pencil back in the box, and done.

I've been inactive here for a while, because I had trouble logging in - but that seems to have cleared up. Computers are strange, mysterious beasts.

summer vs winter

Flowers, flowers, more flowers . . . and a winter sunset after a rainstorm. All four are oil paintings, the first two on canvas and the second two on wooden panels.

The Tailor, Scarlet Elf Cups, Oak Leaves Study, and Pumpkins by the Herb Garden

I do so much painting in earth tones and various shades of green that I really enjoy the chance to use bright reds or orang tones. These four pieces were all painted/drawn as an excuse to break out the cadmium red and orange (although the Tailor was also an exercise is spectacular clothing.)

Intro to Mockingbird Farm

Hello, all, I decided to give Waterfall a try. I am a farmer, and artist, a mom, a martial artist, and all-around jack-of-all-trades. I live in the western panhandle of Maryland with my husband, two teenagers, and an assortment of pets and livestock. It can be hard to find time to paint in and around the farm work and the family needs, but I do the best I can.

Evitt's Creek Study #6

Oil painting on a wooden panel, roughly 10 x 20 inches (25 x 51 cm). This creek is only a few miles from my house, and has been one of our favorite places to play, wade, and fish for years.