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Morning Light Pastel Painting

It’s been awhile since my last post, but I’m here today to share with you Morning Light Pastel Painting. This pastel depicts a path in the Giant Cedar forest near Libby, Montana, where we visited last month on a two day trip. The name of the forested area is called the Ross Creek Cedars, which I highly recommend! Some trees are said to be over 400 years old! There are all kinds of nature trails with signs along the way explaining the flora and fauna of the area. You can bring a lunch and sit on one of the park benches along the trails or at one of the many picnic tables.

Giant Cedar Tree Forest

There’s me showing the scale of the trees! Some of the trees were absolutely, unbelievably huge and it reminds me of the giant Redwood Forest in Northern California. We had a lovely time walking through the cool forest and admiring the beauty. We stopped by in the morning which was good because by the time we left it was so busy there wasn’t any parking left. If you are going to visit the area, it’s better to do so first thing in the morning, better on a weekday, if possible.

Looking up a Cedar Tree

So here’s my tribute to that memorable day, done from one of my reference photos:

Morning Light Pastel Painting

(The watermark is not on the original painting.)

As usual I got lost in the details on Morning Light Pastel Painting and so I’m not real thrilled with the outcome. I added the sun rays afterwards, because I felt the painting lacked a focal point. That was a bad idea. I could redo it but the interest is not there. I’ll just keep it in the flat file as a momentum of our trip. I did however enjoy the painting process and used a combination of hard and soft pastels. Girault pastels are quickly becoming one of my favorites and I really put them through their paces on this piece. I think that’s how I ended up getting this one overworked, because it was so satisfying using those particular pastels. Oh well, “chalk” it up to an educational exercise. Right?

It’s hard to believe summer is over and we are getting close to Thanksgiving. This year flew by! I hope you had a great summer. Ours was a bust because of the wild fire smoke that started earlier than usual due to the intense heat that arrived a month early. But we made up for it in September and were able to get in a few camping trips and boating as well. I’ll share one of my camping trips in the next post.

The End of the Year Extravaganza Sale is in full swing over in the Gallery on my website. Nearly everything is on sale with some items up to 50% off. The sale ends Oct. 31, 2021. I will be closing my website at the end of this year, and may just revert back to a regular blog. I haven’t decided. With everything that’s going on and things that may be coming, I feel it’s not a good time to be selling fine art. So, if you would like to own an original painting, and like my work, get it while its price reduced! This will be the last sale of this year. If you would like to extend your payments visit the Payment Plans page for more info.

Thanks for stopping by and as always, much Love! ~ Rhonda

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End of the Year Extravaganza SALE!

a happy woman holding shopping paper bags



Sale Ends Oct. 31, 2021

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If you are not satisfied with your purchase, simply return it within seven days of receipt. No questions asked. *

(*Restrictions apply.)

Shop early for best selection

as there is only one of each item!

Gift Wrap

Shop now for Christmas and avoid shipping delays!

I am closing my website at the end of this year. With all that is going on, I feel it is not the right time to be selling art. This is the last sale of 2021. If you like my work and wish to add to your art collection, this will be your last opportunity to purchase a piece on sale. If you would like to break up your purchase into manageable payments please see the Payment Plans page for more info.

I will still be sending out newsletters if you want to stay in contact. You can sign up for news HERE.

Thank you to all who have supported me during the years!

Much, Much Love and many Blessings to you! ~ Rhonda

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The Queen of Flowers: a giant Sunflower!

The Queen of Flowers
“The Queen of Flowers”

The Queen of Flowers is a giant Sunflower! I absolutely love giant Sunflowers and I painted this pastel painting of the tallest sunflower I’ve ever grown. It’s over 11′ tall! Most of the Sunflowers are finished for the season and are full of seeds. Soon, the resident squirrel will figure out there’s seeds to be had and will be climbing the stalks to get his treats.

Sunflowers are fun to paint and I did a few in oils, which you can view here. This giant Sunflower was really fun to paint in pastel. It is painted on PastelMat paper with soft pastels and is about 9″x9″ in size. (The watermark is not on the painting.) I think these giants deserve the name The Queen of Flowers!


I’ve been busy with the end of summer garden chores like harvesting tomatoes and making pots of tomato sauce. Soon I’ll be digging up the potatoes and this week I dug up a big bag full of onions. It’s also time to plant garlic so that will be another garden chore to complete.

It’s so much fun to grow veggies! But this year was kind of weird in that we had an early onset of extreme heat and no rain all summer. Combined with extremely smokey days from surrounding wildfires, the lack of sunlight and intense heat did a number on all my plants, including the flower garden. My squash plants quit producing female flowers early and my rose bushes and Clematis vine didn’t produce flowers either until a few weeks ago when it cooled off. The only plants that did well were the tomato plants because they like heat. I’m hoping there will be a decent crop of potatoes.

I didn’t get in many adventures this summer because of the weather situation and the smoke. I love to paint plein air but this year that wasn’t in the cards. I’m hopeful this smoke will clear out soon! It’s so disparaging to not be able to see more than three miles and yet it’s not fog and it’s hot.

I hope you had a great summer! I’m ready for fall. How about you? Much Love and Blessings to you ~ Rhonda

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Mona Lisa Stargazer Lily

Summer is winding down and so are the Lillies in my flower garden. Before they were gone I painted a Mona Lisa Stargazer Lily in pastel. They are beautiful Lillies! Here’s a peek in the garden:

Stargazer Lillies

This is the second year of growth for these Mona Lisa Stargazer Lillies so they haven’t spread much. Their fragrance is mild compared to the Orienpet Lillies I shared in my previous post. The Lillies are a vibrant pink with splashes of deep red and are relatively low growing.

I picked a lily and put it in a small vase and it looked so cute I just had to paint it. I placed it under a strong light source and used some pan pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix paper to start. The pan pastels perform really well on this paper but hard and soft pastels not so much. I am not a fan of pan pastels because of the extreme softness and I’m not able to achieve the more finished look I prefer in my art. So, I used soft pastels to finish the painting and it was a bit of a challenge due to the roughness of the paper. Here’s my little still life set up:

Pan Pastels and Stargazer Lily

The light source is just above and to the left. I use the table to sort out the pan pastels since there’s plenty of room. I took a photo of the lily before I began painting because the flowers wilt pretty quickly, and used both the photo reference and the actual flower for my painting information.

Stargazer Lily Pastel Painting

Mona Lisa Stargazer Lily was painted on white Colourfix pastel paper and is about 8.75″ x 8.75″ in size. The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the original painting. I can see where I might want to rework the foreground a little bit and bring the yellow hues into the right side of the painting some more. Otherwise I think this piece came out lovely!

Thanks for your time in stopping by! Much Love ~ Rhonda!

  • Stargazer Lily Pastel Painting
  • Poinsettia Pastel
  • White Lily Pastel Painting
  • Chives Pastel
  • Late Morning Orienpet Lily pastel painting
  • White Orienpet Lily Pastel
  • Bearded Iris pastel