This page features a collection of subjects and settings from all over America and beyond that have touched my heart and inspired me over my many years as an "AMERICANA" fine artist.
THE COAST OF CORNWALL, ENGLAND ~ The photo here pictures the seaside village harbor of St. Ives, Cornwall in England ~ just as dawn was breaking.The scene looked positively golden!
Made famous by British author Rosamunde Picher's books "The Shell Seekers," "The Day of the Storm" and "Coming Home," I visited the artists' colony in 2002 when in U.K. with my husband on his 50th birthday golfing trip with his best pals.
While he was golfing with them at Turnberry, I spent several days touring Saint Ives galleries, beaches and exploring the village Pilcher called "Porthkerris" in her short stories and books.
I completed a portrait of the pretty Belyar's Croft Inn overlooking this harbor where I stayed during my short visit. Charming as could be, the three-story inn was once home to a sea captain.
You'll find the artwork of Belyar's Croft below in the "Other Settings (United Kingdom)" section further down on this page.
THE HOLIDAYS 2018 ~ FIVE GROUPS IN THE "MORE" COLLECTION
I've divided this collection into five groups with sub-categories. Each highlights paintings which often revolve with the seasons.
NEW ARTWORK, GROUP PDFS &"THE BIG LIST"
ENJOY ~ and click on Ordering for details on purchasing any of the artwork featured here (now accepting Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express).
GOLF COURSES &CLUBHOUSES (ACTUAL SETTINGS) (PACIFIC NORTHWEST AND BEYOND ~ INCLUDING SCOTLAND DURING THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SEASON)
Entire Golf Collection (Some Holiday) pdf ~ Click on this 4-page pdf to see all 17 golf settings.
I painted this festive golf-themed artwork to honor the Old Course at Saint Andrews (StAndrews.com), Scotland ~ the reputed birthplace of golf. There are actually two courses there, a new one and this one.
This fun holiday painting featured Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus decorating a tall evergreen perched on the stone bridge that connected both sides of the #18 fairway there ~ one of the more picturesque spots on the course. In the background of this piece, I pictured the venerable old clubhouse and Russack's famous golf hotel.
To celebrate my husband Doug’s 50th birthday in 2002 (he’s a remarkable good golfer with a lifelong passion for the game), we traveled to the United Kingdom with two of his closest friends to play several of the courses that have hosted the renowned British Open ~ including this course!
"SNOWY SENTINEL AT R.O.C.C.." (ROYAL OAKS COUNTRY CLUB, VANCOUVER, WA • PAINTED OCTOBER 2000 ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 8X10-INCH)
I painted this piece after joining my husband and three of his best golf pals at a special invitation golf tournament held at Royal Oaks Country Club (RoyalOaks.net) in Vancouver, WA.
This golf club was one of the prettiest that I had ever seen in all my travels and visits to other courses all over the west coast. Special features were its huge oak trees, evergreens, lush flower gardens and streams that meandered throughout its 18 holes.
A number of stone bridges criss-crossed these and one at hole #5 was actually covered with grass. When it came time to create our golf-themed Christmas card art in 2000, this pretty bridge came to mind.
I dusted the scene with snow and painted a tartan-clad snowy “Sentinel” standing guard.
Highlight ~ A few years later, the artwork was published in the Royal Oaks "Divoteer" newsletter and a framed reproduction of hung during the holiday season every year in the clubhouse.
"CELEBRATING AT O.G.C.C." (MEDINA, WA • PAINTED AUGUST 2004 ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 8X10-INCH)
In 2004, Overlake Golf & Country Club (Microsoft’s Bill and Melinda Gates were among its famous members) commissioned me to rework an original portrait I had painted of the club three years before.
The board and management at Overlake(Overlake.Club) asked me to give the piece a holiday "spin" so that they could hang the artwork in their foyer at Christmastime and feature it on holiday greeting cards. I painted a huge evergreen in the parking and added lots of holly, lights, baubles and bows around the clubhouse.
At the time that I created this artwork, Doug and I were still members of this club that his parents had joined in the mid-1960s before the membership filled up with business tycoons and retired “dot-com” types.
I pictured my avid golfing sister and brother-in-law Peggy and Jeff Barton and their family joining my husband Doug and me in the entryway.
Highlight ~ My passionate golfer husband Doug who grew up on this course held Overlake's unbeaten record as the all-time winner with eleven victories as the Men's Club champion.
"KRIS KINGLE'S GOLF GETAWAY" (ALTA MESA COUNTRY CLUB, MESA, WA • PAINTED NOVEMBER 2016 ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 8X10-INCH)
With all of the gifts and goodies safely delivered around the world on Decmber 24th, Kris Kringle treated himself to a golf getaway in the Southwest on Christmas Day at Alta Mesa Country Club (AltaMesaGolf.com).
One of Santa’s elves volunteered for caddy duty ~ even though he was so short, he had to use pixie dust to get the clubs back in the bag and push the cart around the course! Santa spent a perfect day enjoying manicured fairways and lightening fast greens ~ a welcome reward for a job well done!
Highlight ~ ~ this was the 18th holiday golf painting I created to honor my husband’s passion for the game. A dear friend (and much thinner than Santa here) Greg Killian posed for the this festively dressed putter in front of the Alta Mesa Country Club clubhouse in Arizona.
HOLIDAY GOLF SETTINGS ~ FEATURING 4 PAINTINGS FROM THE" CANDY CANE LINKS" COLLECTION (GOLFING SANTAS, SNOWMEN, ELVES AND MORE)
Entire Santas /Snowmen Golf Collection pdf ~ Click on this 3-page pdf to see all 14 paintings. NOTE ~ Actual settings like Saint Andrews, Carnoustie and several courses in the United States are part of the "Golf Courses & Clubhouses (Actual Settings)" collection above.
NEW! "FESTIVE FIVESOME AT CANDY CANE LINKS (ALTA MESA COUNTRY CLUB, MESA, AZ • PAINTED NOVEMBER 2017 ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 5X7-INCH)
I painted this portrait of my sweetheart Doug and me with jolly ol' Saint Nicholas dressed in festive plaid. Two of Santa's ace golfing buddy snowmen have flanked him on both sides. I've bordered the friendly scene with Ponderosa pine boughs and evergreen branches laden with scarlet Christmas balls.
Doug has always loved the "Greatest Game," as he refers to golf. It's his passion and he's been very good at it since early grade school years ~ hovering around a 2 handicap for most of his life.
Dressed for an outing with Mr. "C." and his pals, even though snowflakes are falling and the evening is frosty, there is magic in the air for this festive fivesome!
Highlight ~ This artwork marked the 6th painting in the "Candy Cane Links" collection and the 19th holiday golf-themed painting I've created for our Christmas card art ~ my annual gift to Dougie each Christmas!
"CANDY CANE LINKS CLUBHOUSE" (IMAGINARY GOLF SCENE • PAINTED SEPTEMBER 2012 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 5X7-INCH)
These Candy Cane Links paintings are a grouping within the collection that I add a new piece of art to every now and again. I began creating these paintings cards for my passionalte golfer husband when we first met in 1997 at Christmastime.They are a much deserved not to the sport that he loves so much ~ and happens to have a God-given flair for.
This collection of works featured Santa Claus in knickers (sometimes with Mrs. Claus), elves, snowmen, trains, golf carts and more. They also portrayed a number of actual settings like Saint Andrew's 18th fairway and the Simpson Golf Shop at Carnoustie ~ a "must paint" setting for me with my last name.
This painting portrayed a gingerbread candy-trimmed clubhouse with Santa Claus lining up his putt on the 18th hole in the background. A friendly snowman was nearby to point golfers in the right direction to the first tee.
I pictured Doug and me in the clubhouse enjoy hot buttered rums ~ the perfect after-golf festive beverage.
Hightlight ~ This artwork is the 3rd painting created for my "Candy Cane Links" collection.
"PLUM PUDDING CONTEST AT CANDY CANE LINKS" (IMAGINARY GOLF SCENE • PAINTED DECEMBER 2015 ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 5X7-INCH)
Even Saint Nicholas deserves to have a little fun after his holiday night-long duties.
It’s Christmas Day ~ and geese are roasting in ovens all over the North Pole while Santa’s elves compete for dessert for their holiday dinners. Candy Cane Links is hosting a putting contest over lightening fast groomed ice.
The elves are lined up to give each other a run for the money to win the coveted prizes.
Third prize is a spicey gingerbread cake and the second, a tangy mincemeat pie. The grand price is a traditional steaming English plum pudding with a sprig of holly in its heart. What could be more traditional!?!
Hightlight ~ This is the 5th painting I created to add to the “Candy Cane Links” collection.
"CARTING THE TREE TO THE CANDY CANE LINKS CLUBHOUSE" (IMAGINARY HOLIDAY GOLF SCENE • PAINTED SEPTEMBER 2010 ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 5X7-INCH)
In this piece Santa Claus was all dressed up in his festively colored “plus-fours” as he was in charge of the Christmas tree detail at the clubhouse for Candy Cane Links ~ his own private golf course at the North Pole. What better way than to tie down the giant evergreen to the top of his candy cane-inspired electric golf cart? Oops . . . that load of holiday lights was about to fall out of the back!
This painting was also inspired by my husband Doug’s dear friend Ric Metzger who had the habit of careening around Overlake Golf & Country Club snagging tree limbs that more often than not refused to budge from the roof of his golf cart until he’d finished his 18 holes. Doug had the photo to prove it! See "Santa's Holiday Hazard" above for more on Ric.
Highlight ~ This is the 2nd painting in the "Candy Cane Links" collection.
FIRE DEPARTMENTS (EVERETT, ARLINGTON AND OTHER FIRE DEPARTMENTS INCLUDING A CHRISTMAS SCENE)
Entire Fire Department Collection pdf ~ Click on this 2-page pdf to see all 8 paintings.
"HOSE #2 AT CHRISTMASTIME (DETAIL)" (IMAGINARY HOLIDAY-THEMED FIREHOUSE • PAINTED NOVEMBER 1993 ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 8X10-INCH)
I painted this fictional turn-of-the-century Victorian-style fire station decorated for the Christmas holidays with two huge holly holiday wreaths hung on each side of the building.
Inspired by artwork painted by famed “Americana” artist Charles Wysocki, I created this festive piece for Everett, WA Fire Department EMS Fire Chief Mike Lambert as Christmas card art.
He liked the holiday painting so much that he gave framed prints to his friends, family and fellow firefighters that year.
Mike owned several portraits of fire stations in Everett and this artwork made a nice addition to his collection of fire department-related artwork. The image shared here was just a detail of the larger piece which featured a glittering Christmas tree on the station’s rooftop.
"STATION #1 AND THE OLD STEAMER (E.F.D.) " (EVERETT, WA, • PAINTED OCTOBER 1993 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 16X20-INCH)
The immaculate vintage Ahrens Fox 1906 pumper (otherwise known simply as “The Steamer”) has always been an Everett Fire Department iconic much loved vehicle.
The steamer was delivered to the community’s fire department in December 1907 ~ well over a century ago.
I painted this portrait of it in the early 1990s, picturing it parked in front of what once was the very first fire station in Everett, Washington. Sadly, when traffic through town was revised to make way for Interstate 5, this charming stucco one-story building was demolished.
Highlight ~ For many years, folks were able to see the old vehicle sparkling like a dime with local firefighters at the reins when Everett celebrated “Salty Seas Days” with a big parade. That annual community event inspired this painting.
In November 1994, I painted a portrait of the restored vintage Everett Fire Department (EverettFirefighters.org) fire truck Engine #2 ~ one of several that made their way through the parade route crowd along the sidewalks of downtown Everett.
Retired firefighter Darrell Jensen drove the fire truck while EMS Chief Jack Robinson stood at the rear. Jack's son and his pal shared the seats with Jack’s wife at the time, Bonnie Richter and me. Another firefighter’s two youngsters were outfitted “for action” ~ dressed head-to-toe in bunker gear.
Pictured in the background of this piece was handsome old Station #2 which had functioned for decades as the headquarters for the Everett Fire Department.
Highlight ~ In 2010, I donated this original painting to my longtime friend Fire Chief Murray Gordon for display at the E.F.D. vintage Headquarters building.
The vintage Everett Fire Department (EverettFirefighters.org) Headquarters located at 2801 Oakes Avenue in downtown Everett, Washington, was occupied for the first time on June 25, 1925. In those days, the entire structure was heated with sawdust.
Over the years, a few minor alterations were made to the exterior of the building. The bi-fold doors and small paned windows were replaced with more modern, easy to use door and the intricate art deco sconces flanking the entryway disappeared along with the flagpole on the roof.
Other than these changes, the structure has largely retained most of its original character. Old Station #2 is registered as a historical landmark in. Notice the firefighters in vintage uniforms and the steamer and old fire engine in the headquarters’ bays.
Highlight ~ The original painting was given to firefighter Michael Lambert (retired EMS Chief) and became part of this private collection.
OTHER SETTINGS (THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, ARIZONA, THE MIDWEST, NEW ENGLAND, GREAT BRITAIN AND UZBEKISTAN OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION)
Entire Other Settings Collection pdf ~ Click on this 5-page pdf to see all 22 paintings
THE MIDWEST & NEW ENGLAND
This traditional brick two-story colonial house was the home of the Scott family in the charming community of Downington, PA. Handsomely detailed, the family just loved this handsome two-story brick beauty ~ and thus it became the scene of lots of friendly get-togethers.
The four Scotts are pictured on their front lawn enjoying a picnic with all the usual trimmings ~ sandwiches, potato chips, fresh veggies and fruit, lemonade ~ and of course, huge slices of watermelon.
Highlight ~ I painted this artwork for Christine Scott, an executive with Microsoft who had been transferred to the East coast. It was the third in a series of three pieces she commissioned as a Christmas gift for her husband to remind them of the wonderful times they shared in the Pacific Northwest. Note ~ Their Orcas Island wedding portrait is featured on my Bridal page.
This vintage farmhouse located in Choko, Minnesota, looks much the same as it did when it was built in 1899 by Ole Ulvestad. Notice the black buckboard buggy behind the house in the painting ~ a common mode of transportation at the time, especially in this rural area. Although a bit weather-beaten, the construction of the house must have been very sturdy for it to be standing well over 100 years. Only the windows and perhaps the roof of the structure appear to have been replaced.
This piece was commissioned by Patricia Hampton and featured her father’s entire family. Most of his eight sisters wore their “Sunday best” frocks sewn from the same red plaid bolt of fabric by their mother (back upper right) which was I am told was a very common practice in those days. Her dad was the little guy in the front row.
An avid genealogist, this painting was inspired by Pat’s journey to the Midwest in the summer of 2009 to see the family’s Minnesota farm. She commissioned this piece as a memento and gave framed prints to her brothers and sisters as gifts at Christmastime that year.
Highlight ~ I was happy to let her use the image to highlight the memory book she compiled on her family’s history. (Photo of the Ulvestad farmhouse courtesy of Patricia Hampton.)
ARIZONA (CAREFREE, SCOTTSDALE AND MESA)
In 2003, Doug and I discovered a cozy Mesa, Arizona patio home ~ as it was referred to in the brochure about the complex known as "Mission Square at Alta Mesa." This little Southwest-style stucco "casita" with its traditional red tile roof overlooked the 17th green of Alta Mesa Country Club and brought to fruition my husband's "bucket list" dream of doing a bit of "snow-birding" when he retired.
Doug attended college at Arizona State University on a golf scholarship in the early 1970s and loved Arizona's warm dry climate, so spending some days in this part of the United States was very appealing to him. His folks Russ and Kathleen had both passed by 2002, so he used the money from his inheritance to help make this happen.
Many hours of fun and relaxation were created here ~ an occasional respite from the gloomy days that the Pacific Northwest serves up after Christmastime. We’re pictured in front of this “desert delight” ~ about to enjoy a barbecue with folks in the area.
Highlight ~ For years, gal pals who lived in this friendly little complex rode laps in the evening several times around the interior circular drive on one-speed bicycles ~ each one bike a different color!
This beautiful Southwest-style home was once the residence of my dear friend Marie Marx during her marriage to Rick Strohm.
During our high school days, Marie, my sister Marilee and I waited until 5:00 p.m. every evening for Marie's mother and Marilee and my dad to finish their work days and collect us after school. Hours of conversation and sharing helped us mark our time together most afternoons at Holy Names Academy.
Although our careers and personal lives drew us to opposite ends of the United States, Marie and I always stayed friends, encouraging and supporting each other.
One of her dreams when she was married to Rick had been to build this handsome one-story against the backdrop of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale. It was a project that she and Rick work on together with their architect ~ and the results were pretty special. In early 2002, I visited her on her milestone 50th birthday and gave her this artwork of her home.
When Doug and I relocated from Seattle back to Spokane, Marie soon came back to the Pacific Northwest as well. She continued her very successful career in Spokane, WA as a film producer specializing in videos for non-profits. She was honored in 2017, winning the first place in the L.A. International Video Short category.
OREGON & THE OREGON COAST (ASHLAND, MEDFORD, OCEAN SHORES AND CANNON BEACH)
Italian for “Eagle View,” Aquila Vista has always enjoyed the sweeping view of Rogue Valley and Ashland, Oregon ~ sometimes from above the clouds. This scene was created from a reproduction with new painted details added to give the earlier completed artwork a holiday theme.
The beautiful home was built to take advantage of the view in a grove of madrones, pine trees and shrubbery. Note the tree house tucked into the forest above the home.
The couple living there when this portrait was completed, shared, “It’s been a wonderfully restful place to enjoy a glass of local wine and local wildlife (deer, elk, bears, eagles and more).” Vista Aquila was the perfect gift from Mike to Karen and they both love it!
For decades, Ashland has hosted its renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Ashland Independent Film Festival (A.I.F.F.).
Highlight ~ Remarkably, Karen and I worked together in the early 2000s at the Eddie Bauer Sportswear headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. When it came time for a portrait of her home, she tracked me down and very kindly gave me the artwork commission.
This seaside portrait of Cannon Beach was a special birthday gift I painted for my sweetheart Doug Ward in 1999 when we were dating our way to becoming a serious couple. A few months before in November 1998, we had vacationed with his family over the long Thanksgiving weekend at Cannon Beach, Oregon.
The incredibly picturesque artists’ colony and beloved getaway was a favorite of many ~ and Doug’s family had enjoyed the autumn tradition of spending the holiday at this breathtaking destination for several years.
Among the vacationers pictured in this ocean-side scene on the shore were his son Kevin and girlfriend Heather seated on the log to the right. Doug’s older brother Tom and their parents Kay and Russ stood behind them. I painted Doug and me into the lower left foreground gathering driftwood for a beach fire.
It was the sunny Friday after Thanksgiving and revelers were enjoying the pleasant day while a breeze tossed kites in the sky.
Highlight ~ The artwork would not have been complete without the area's signature Haystack Rock in the background.
THE UNITED KINGDOM ~ 1 NEW! (CORNWALL, ENGLAND AND WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA)
"BEAUTIFUL BELYAR'S CROFT" (ST. IVES IN CORNWALL, ENGLAND, U.K. • PAINTED FEBRUARY 2004 ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 8X10-INCH)
When I journeyed to England in 2002 with my husband Doug and two of his buddies, Brent Orrico and Ric Metzger, we were there to celebrate my husband’s passion for golf. We wanted to experience the excitement of playing many of the British Open courses.
When the boys headed to the west side of Scotland, which included Turnberry and other revered courses, I boarded a train south for England’s Coast of Cornwall, known as the “Cornish Riviera.” My destination was St. Ives, a beloved artists’ colony where during my three-day visit, I stayed at the charming structure pictured here. The friendly innkeepers shared that Belyar's Croft had once been the home of a successful local sea captain. Built in the late 1800s on a hillside overlooking the harbor, it was a five-minute walk from to the heart of St. Ives and afforded a breathtaking view of the Atlantic from nearly every room in the place.
The stucco-and-stone three-story was surrounded by lush, colorful gardens lovingly tended by the charming husband and wife proprietors who did a fine job of making their guests feel like ”family.”
Highlight ~ A trip to Saint Ives had been a dream of mine for year ~ inspired by novels written by renowned English storyteller, Rosamunde Pilcher. In her books, she called this seaside villages "Porthkerris." See the photo of its picturesque harbor at the top of this page.
NEW! "WINTER WEDDING AT WHISTLER" (WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA, U.K. • PAINTED SEPTEMBER MARCH 2017 ACRYLIC 5X7-INCH)
This portrait of beautiful Whistler Village in British Columbia was completed to honor the marriage of some very dear friends of ours, Michele Rostron and Brent Orrico.
Brent's extended family owned a vacation home in Whistler, British Columbia for many years. Thus, this iconic setting was prettiest place that Doug’s ski-loving pal could have chosen for his small winter wedding ceremony.
As pictured here in this painting , the marriage was held outdoors near the skating rink, and yes, Brent asked that I paint Doug and me into the scene among the ice skaters as unfortunately, it was impossible for us to join the couple. The crisp evening was lovely with light snow dusting Whistler Village. I pictured Brent and his fiancé Michele sharing their vows as his brother Dean officiated on Saint Patrick’s Day, 2017.
Highlight ~ Brent Orrico has been one of my husband’s best and closest buddies since childhood years growing up in the Clyde Hill neighborhood of Bellevue, Washington
TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN (ONCE PART OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION)
During my two-week journey to three destinations in what was once the former U.S.S.R. in October and November 1988, our group of assorted travelers was incredibly lucky that our trip coincide with the annual celebration of the 1917 October Revolution (the overthrow of the Tsarist royal form of government in Russia).
This painting pictured the parade marchers, a handsome float and some of the visiting Americans in our group. The color that day everywhere was "red," the hue most associated with "power." This wascertainly not an accident, although "Peristroika" and the open-minded notion of "coming together" was at its height as Gorbechov was in office. I’m pictured in a red sweater standing next to trip organizer (in sunglasses), Ron King.
Highlight ~This original artwork was hung in a gallery in Tashkent, Uzbekistan at the invitation of a museum curator who had befriended us all during our visit to the city.
"THE CHILDREN OF TASHKENT" (UZBEKISTAN, FORMER SOVIET UNION • PAINTED FEBRUARY 1988 ACRYLIC ON 8X10-INCH)
As I mentioned above in 1988, I journeyed to the former U.S.S.R. with a group of about 25 Americans from Seattle on a good will trip. Tashkent had been chosen as a Seattle "Sister City" a number of years before ~ and Mayor Charles Royer's wife had grown up in this part of the Soviet Union. This community was one of three destinations we visited ~ the others being Moscow and Leningrad (now St. Petersberg).
In Tashkent, my friends and I made friends with a group of local folks who welcomed us with open arms. We were lucky enough to spend an entire day at one of Tashkent’s day schools for children where we were entertained with dancing, singing and poetry readings in surprisingly fluent English by the youngsters. This amazed us all as our visit had been completely impromptu.
I painted the Russian-style classroom where each prominently displayed a portrait of Lenin ~ reminding me of the United States in the 1950s with George Washington's portrait on the wall as well. Unique too was nap time during the school day there. Taking a nap actually meant sleeping in a bed where pillows were decoratively shaped into pyramids.
Highlight ~ This painting of the school children was also hung in a gallery in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Click on my Biography page for more information on this fascinating unique trip.
OTHER ~ 1 NEW! (UNIQUE IMAGINARY SETTINGS PLUS PORTRAITS OF CHILDREN, PETS AND MORE)
Entire Other Subjects Collection pdf ~ Click on this 3-page pdf to see all 12 paintings.
NEW! "KINDRED SPIRITS KITTIES" (CAT WHISKER LANE, KENMORE, WA • PAINTED NOVEMBER 2017 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 5X7-INCH)
My sister and her sweetheart Ronnie purchased a cottage on Cat Whisper Lane in a cozy community north of Seattle in the mid-2000s. The two had been apartment and condominium dwellers for decades, so moving into a house with a big yard was an adventure for both of them.
It was a dream come true for my sister whose green thumb and creativity in the garden has been legendary. She worked wonders with the property ~ which also included a tulip shuttered garden house in the back yard.
Ron’s dream had been to add a little dog to the household, so in autumn of 2017, Miko Amici joined the couple ~ bringing joy, companionship and his delightful energy into their world.
Highlight ~ I painted this holiday-themed portrait of their pooch enjoying the light snowfall in their back yard as a surprise Christmas gift for Marilee and Ronnie.
"PEGGY & JEFF'S POOCHES" (LEE'S POINT, HAYDEN LAKE, ID • PAINTED DECEMBER 2017 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 5X7-INCH)
Although a steady stream of pets of all types have “ruled the roost” at sis Peggy and her husband Jeff’s various homes over the years, when I decided to paint portraits of my siblings family pets as Christmas gifts in 2017, those on hand in this family were a little fluffy friendly Shih Tzu named Tabasco (who had survived so long that he had completely lost his sight in both his eyes) ~ and a very large German shepherd named Jada blessed with boundless energy.
These two were the exact opposite, but spent several years as roommates nonetheless, ~ looking after each other in their own way. The two have provided the family with companionship and love as well as some very comical moments.
Highlight ~ When Tabasco fell off the high bank into the lake below one summer, Jada barked her head off until she got my sister’s attention that the poor little blind pooch was in serious need of rescuing.
"FRIENDLY FURRY FELINES" (IMAGINARY SETTING • PAINTED AUGUST 1999• ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 5X7-INCH)
Kitties galore! My sisters, Marilee, Peggy and I are cat lovers. If you look carefully in this piece, you’ll see my two youngers sisters and me lounging on the window seat in the background of this painting.
All of our kitties were very independent and each had their own personality.
Peggy’s was the calico named Chloe, who spent most of her time exploring out-of-doors. Marilee’s was the white one, Betty Kitty, who yearned to be outside as well, but lived her life as a “condo-cat.” My big black kitty, KC, was perfectly happy being a lazy “hot-house plant.”
Sadly, our three furry feline friends pictured here have all passed away leaving large holes in our lives.
Highlight ~ This painting is a tribute to all the happiness they brought to the three of us Simpson girls.
"THE FRIENDLY FOREST" (IMAGINARY SETTING • PAINTED FEBRUARY 2000 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 5X7-INCH)
This was a portrait I created of several furry woodland creatures who would rarely be seen in the same setting together ~ especially in such a calm and peaceful atmosphere. And that’s the point!
These critters (two squirrels, a seagull, brown bear, giraffe, butterfly, lion, fawn and tiger) have all made friends with one-another and are happily gathered together in this friendly forest scene ~ thus the name of the painting.
I created this fun, whimsical piece as a special gift honoring the very first birthday of my Godson, Scot Simpson. His mother Jan had decorated his bedroom with a jungle theme when he was a toddler.
CHRISTMAS COLLECTION (ARTWORK IN ADDITION TO HOLIDAY GOLF ABOVE AND NEIGHBORHOOD SCENES IN OTHER COLLECTIONS)
Entire Christmas Collection pdf ~ Click on this 1-page pdf to see all 4 paintings. NOTE ~ This collection is in addition to the Golfing Santa/Snowmen artwork featured near the top of this page.
Years ago in mid-1990s, I was Christmas shopping with my special work buddy Brad Robinson in Seattle. One of the most important items on my list was a Christmas dress. I wanted a real "show-stopper," as more often than not, the company's Holiday Gala was hosted at an equally "show-stopping" event ~ that year, at the iconic Seattle Center Space Needle. We went to numerous stores ~ The Bon Marche (now Macy's), I. Magnim's, Jay Jacobs and finally Nordstrom. At the top of the escalator was this stunning, shiny red plaid taffeta dress with a black velet bodice. Brad say, "Look no further....this is it!" He was right!
Now, 20-plus years later, this magical dress still finds its way out of my cedar closet for a handful of special Holiday celebrations ~ and this could be one of those years. I'm hoping to be finally on my feet after the accident that crushed my ankle in early September.
My brother Bob and his wife Jan invited Doug and me to join them at the Holiday Gala/Seafood Buffet hosted by the Hayden Lake Country Club on December 22nd. This may be the perfect venue for resurrecting this dress..
Highlight ~ I DO love this it! Other than the piece above, I painted myself wearing it in several other Christmas paintings. Click on my Browne's Addition Spokane Collection pdf to see "The Christmas House" and "Christmas at the Cambell House" and on my Snohomish for "The Happy Holiday House (Harmon House)."
NOTE ~ The works shared below are 3 of 7 VERY early paintings created in 1977 as Christmas gifts for my folks, Sally and Joe, and my youngest brother Bob who was about ~ a mere 40 years ago.
'I’ve painted a dozens of holiday pieces over the years ~ I just LOVE Christmas and my husband Doug has always referred to me the “Christmas Queen.” For the past 40+ years, I’ve created special paintings for my greeting cards ~ that is up until I married Doug in April 2000. From then on "Holiday Golfing Snowmen and Santa" became the annual theme to honor of his passion for the game). A handfull of these 18 fun works are featured above.
This early artwork pictured all six of us Simpsons with Sally mom cradeling her youngest son Bob on her lap. We're all lounging on the comfy window seat, waiting for my dad Joe to unveil his masterpiece ~ "Mr. Gobbler."
Highlight ~ My creative mother Sally sewed each of her daughters two sets of cordutoy jumpers which she paired with lace-trimmed crisp puffed sleeve blouses (pictured right). The red jumpers came out at Christmas and the light blue ones at Easter. As we all grew to be a little older, she created matching Christmas dresses of red and black taffeta. These were immortalized for years inf Christmas photos taken with Santa at the Crescent Department Store. (Perhaps this explains my fascination with the taffeta dress pictured above in this section!)
"PEACE ON EARTH AT THE STABLE" (BETHLEHEM, JUDEA • PAINTED DECEMBER 1977 ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 8X10-INCH)
This quiet little stable scene was another of the seven 1977 paintings.
My parents were "converts" who became devouted Roman Catholics ~ my dad, when a student at Gonzaga University and my mother, shortly after their marriage at Sacred Heart Church in 1947. When we six Simpson kidsI were youngsters, my parents waged the constant battle to of pushing Santa Claus and his merry toy-making elves into the background of the Holiday. They tried to keep Christ in "Christmas," which was of course was the real reason for celebrating Christmas in the first place.
For years, we attended Midnight Mass at Sacred Heart Hospital's chapel. It was a magical place with its sky blue ceiling. The chapel really seemed like "Heaven" with the Sisters of Providence choir singing like angels. In later years, my parents drove our family to the Immaculate Heart Retreat House on the south edge of Spokane's Moran Prairie where the Wessel family also treated the congregation to carols before Midnight Mass. With these fond memories, it was easy to create this little painting honoring the birth of Jesus for my folks.
Highlight ~ For decades, they hung this little painting near their tree every Christmas. My mother Sally recently returned the original canvases of "Peace on Earth at the Stable" and "Puffing by the Post Office" back to me to add into my own mix of decorations.
"PUFFING BY THE POST OFFICE" (IMAGINARY HOLIDAY SETTING• PAINTED DECEMBER 1977 ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 8X10-INCH)
As I created paintings for everyone else in the family in 1977, the toughest person to do this for was my youngest brother Bob. Ideas completedly eluded me until my mom finally suggested a Christmas Train. Yes, it was one of those gift that got a lack-luster "Thanks." He was 12 after all!
I'm not sure that Bob ever remembered that I painted this piece for him. My mom Sally stored it with her Nativity painting from that Christmas on, I'm sure ~ but finally she gave it back to me a few years ago. Inspired by the humble little locomotive and cars, in 2006, I painted the "Tee-It-Up Train" ~ which was a huge hit with all our pals on our Christmas card list. See it above in the "Holiday Golf Settings" section.
Highlight ~ When Bob least expects it ~ perhaps this year ~ I'll frame the little vintage piece and give it to him again!
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