In celebration of Fall, please enjoy 35% off all oil paintings*. Use coupon code FALL at checkout. Sale begins Friday, October 18, 2019 and ends Monday, October 21, 2019.
In conjunction with fall elements, such as garlands of autumn colored leaves, using art as part of your decor enhances your space. Candles, nuts, dried flowers, satin floral arrangements, and many other Fall-themed items, will enliven any room. Your guests will feel welcomed and cozy with the addition of these decor ideas.
Decorating with Art ~
“Pumpkins” oil on canvas is a favorite little painting I created just for use in my Fall decor. At 4″x4″, this small painting is a perfect addition to any tablescape.
Surrounded by a candle, dried corncobs, and chestnuts atop a fall-themed table runner, the “Pumpkins” oil painting makes a bold statement.
Decor Ideas ~
You can see how using small Fall-themed paintings in your decor creates a unique feeling since art can help set the mood for this beautiful season. Mixing store-bought items with original paintings in your decor brings about a quality of richness to your environment because it’s all about texture and color.
One of my favorite decor ideas is to
Here you can see the companion piece to this oil painting sitting to the left on the same shelf:
“Autumn Leaves” 4″x4″ oil painting adorns a dining room side table.
You can see how easily I changed the design of my side table simply by moving the “Autumn Leaves” painting to the opposite side.
Celebrating Nature ~
A colorful celebration of leaves reminds us of the beauty of nature. In this next painting, cool hues of purple and blue are juxtaposed with warm tones. “Colorful Fall Leaves”, a 4″x4″ oil on gallery wrapped box canvas, shares the space of the entry way shelf.
Hanging Artwork on a wall adds to a Fall-themed decor, as well. “Lil’ Pumpkins” oil painting can be seen on the gallery wall and is painted in oil on a 6″x6″ panel. The painting is framed in black with a gold liner which makes the pumpkins vibrate with excitement. Click HERE if you’d like “Lil’ Pumpkins to be yours!
Aspen trees are the subject of the painting below. The painting is on 8″x10″ canvas and is titled “Aspen Trees in Fall”.
How do you decorate for Fall using art? Do you paint your own paintings? Leave a comment below, and let’s chat! Much Love ~ Rhonda
Fall is my favorite time of the year. Each year brings different weather patterns and fall can last well into November. Often times though Fall is over by mid-October. Last weekend we had snow down to the valley floor and a lot of plants shriveled in the below-freezing temps. It was the first time in 93 years we had snowfall in September!
We had to run a heater in our greenhouse to keep our tomato plants safe since we still have quite a bit of green tomatoes. The plants outside the greenhouse had to be covered. We hoped for the best and I’m happy to say that no plants were lost. The temperatures have been slowly rising and we are now out of frost danger. It looks like we won’t have an Indian Summer with fall lasting to November this year because of the mild summer we had and now with early snow.
During Fall there will often be fog after it rains. I think the landscape is so beautiful when fog is rolling in. I don’t care for driving in the soupy stuff, but watching it float around over the lake and through the forest is awesome. Here’s a little video I captured of the fog building up in the morning. An hour later we were totally engulfed in white.
Fall inspired oil paintings:
The Fall colors during foggy conditions seem more vibrant. It may be due to there not being bright sunlight to wash out the hues. I was inspired to paint this scene of our street during one, particularly foggy day. “Fog in the Forest” is an 11″x14″ oil on canvas and is a part of my personal collection:
This next oil painting, “Leaves on the Driveway”, was inspired by the leaves in our driveway during Fall. It was painted entirely with a palette knife on 4″x4″ gallery wrapped box canvas. I bring this painting out every year as part of my favorite fall decor.
Decorating with artwork:
The best thing about small works of art is they can be easily moved. Each year the decor is a little different and this year, “Leaves on the Driveway” is being showcased in the entry on a shelf. Sometimes small art pieces are displayed on the dining room table as a centerpiece along with a vase of flowers. Other times fall-themed paintings are showcased on the fireplace mantle, with a garland of autumn leaves.
Painting Plein Air:
“The Bridge at Buttonhook“ is a 6″x6″ oil on panel. This painting was done in Plein Air last year in October. It was still warm enough to go boating so we packed lunch and enjoyed the warm sunshine and peacefulness of the lake. The very next day, the temps dropped 20 degrees, the wind arrived, clouds rolled in and snow blanketed the mountain tops. Fall was promptly over!
I hope to be able to do some more Fall Plein air work this year before its all said and done, like this one:
“Plein Air at Whiskey Rock” is painted in oils on a 5″x7″ canvas. Whiskey Rock is a point on the lake which has several boat docks and a small campground. Whiskey Rock campground is tucked into a small cove, and is a favorite spot for weekend boat camping. I painted this one from our boat and absolutely loved how it turned out, with the backlit trees and the reflections in the water. The day was calm, and warm but the air was filled with smoke that year from all the surrounding wildfires when “Plein Air at Whiskey Rock” was created.
One day, during the framing of “Plein Air at Whiskey Rock”, I accidentally drilled too deep and poked a hole in the painting. Now I have to repaint “Plein Air at Whiskey Rock“. Geesh!
Is Fall your favorite time of the year or are you more of a summer lover? Do you decorate your space with Fall themes during this time of the year? What is your favorite time of the year? Leave a comment below and lets chat!
I’ll share some more of my favorite fall paintings in the next post. Until we meet again, much love! ~Rhonda
Camping on the St. Joe River:
Last weekend we enjoyed our end of the year camping and painting adventure on the St. Joe River in Northern Idaho. We stayed at the Telichpah Campground, which is next to the river, on the south end of the Hiawatha Trail system. The campground is tucked away at the end of the road and at this time of the year is typically empty, which is why we go at this time.
The Hiawatha Trail system is an old train route, that was once used by the Milwaukee Railroad, and is now a spectacular mountain bike trail. The trail follows the north fork of the St. Joe river, where it ends at a small town called Avery. The campground is at the end of the trail, and you travel through the three train tunnels to get to the campground. This is our favorite area to have our camping and painting adventure on the St. Joe River.
We arrived mid-week, and the campground was empty except for one other camper. By the time we left on Sunday, the upper section was completely full. I was very surprised to see so many folks camping this late in the season! The lower section of the campground, where we stayed did not fill up. Besides us, there was only one other campsite in use, so it was very quiet.
Relaxing by the fire:
We had a fabulous time even though it was cool and threatened rain every day. It rained a few times during each night and only one day. The brief showers helped to keep the dust down. At the end of each day, it was nice to warm up by the fire and sip hot cocoa.
Photographing forest flora and fauna:
The forest flora and fauna are favorite subjects of mine to create paintings from, so I’m always on the lookout for unique items, like pinecones and mushrooms, to photograph.
There were large mushrooms like these pushing up from the forest floor, everywhere! It’s amazing to see the strength of a mushroom pushing through the hard ground! The mushrooms were exceptionally large due to all the rain and mild temperatures.
Plein air painting the St. Joe River:
On Friday, the weather broke and it was only partly cloudy, so we decided to make it a painting and fishing day. We packed lunch and all our gear and hit the trail to our favorite location on the river. Upon arriving, I discovered that someone forgot to bring my tripod! I had to improvise my pleinair painting set up by using the back of the wheeler as a table. Luckily the tailgate is the right height and all was good.
The scene I painted is a large calm pool just before a bend in the river. I love the emerald green reflections in the water and the large rocks in the middle of the river. The trees were just beginning to turn yellow so no feeling of fall to the scene yet.
Since I didn’t have my tripod I was at the mercy of the sun and had to call it a day when I could no longer see my canvas due to glare. I will finish in the studio using my reference photos and share the painting when it’s finished.
Success catching a fish:
My husband had a successful day fishing and caught a nice sized Cutthroat Trout! After getting his portrait taken, the fish was set free. My husband was a happy camper, indeed! What a great day!
We arrived back at camp in time for me to bake a peach cobbler from scratch! I used a billy can as an oven by putting charcoal on top of the can, and forgot to take a photo of the set up; But I did take a pic of the final results:
The peach cobbler was delicious and I can’t believe it actually worked using this method of cooking. I think its fun to experiment with cooking different foods other than typical camp food. Earlier this year I made a pizza from scratch while camping. You can read about it HERE.
All in all, our end of the year camping and painting adventure was a great end to a wonderful summer! Fall has barely begun and we are expecting snow down to the valley floor this weekend, so I’m glad we made the trip when we did. I hope we don’t have too much accumulation and that this is just a little anomaly and not a sign of things to come!
Thanks for stopping by. Until we meet again, Much Love ~ Rhonda
Learning new techniques, whether it be art or anything else, is something I thoroughly enjoy. I’ve had an app on my Ipad called Procreate for about a year, and have never delved into using it. Last month I came across a blog post in which the author made a little animation, and I wondered if he had created it in Procreate. Sure enough, his next blog post was to advertise his class on how to use Procreate.
What is Procreate?
Procreate is a powerful illustration program in which one can create animations and vibrant illustrations. I decided it was high time I learn how to use the program since I paid for it. I clicked on the help button in the program and it took me to YouTube, where I found a lot of instructional videos. So for the past few months in my spare time, I’ve been learning new techniques in how to create animations and illustrations.
Happy Sheep is one animation I’ve created using Procreate. I know sheep can’t wag the tails they don’t have, but a little humor is a good thing! This sheep is happy she found some green grass to eat.
Animations are my favorite to draw, but I’ve also been delving into just plain illustrations. I joined Lisa Bardot in her Make Art Everday community and created a few drawings during her buildings week. If you join, she sends out weekly drawing prompts and has a Facebook group to post work. I’m not on Facebook and just draw for my own purposes.
Here are a few of my illustrations:
Chicken Noodle Soup House
The above illustration of the Corner Cafe was done before I learned how to add text. As I was drawing it, I thought, “Geez, it sure would be nice to be able to add text to a drawing!” A few days later I watched a video on how to add text. Typical me, always a day late and a dollar short. Oh well.
Lastly, here is a drawing of a strawberry donut I may turn into some kind of animation. I’m thinking sprinkles falling onto the donut would be fun!
I have a lot of learning to do and quite a bit of practice using Procreate, but I’m enjoying the journey! It’s another set of tools in my toolkit to express my creativity! Until next time, much love ~ Rhonda
Plein air painting at the lake update:
A few weeks ago I shared on a previous post, my Plein air painting of our Duckworth boat oil painting, that I started at the lake. By the time we were ready to leave for home, my painting wasn’t finished, as far as details go. But that’s okay, as I rarely bring a painting to completion in the field.
I paint slowly and enjoy a certain level of realism. I can’t paint fast nor impressionistically. Don’t misunderstand me, I love impressionism and would enjoy painting in that style, but my brain won’t let me. I have no idea how to paint loosely. So I have stopped fighting with the art monkey and given in to the fact that this is how I paint.
Here is the completed painting, to which, I’m quite pleased with the results. The Duckworth Boat oil painting is 6″x6″ on gessoed panel. It will be framed in black with a silver liner and become part of my personal collection, as a memory of our day at the lake.
Even though there weren’t many boats out on the lake that day, I added one in the distance for composition’s sake. The birds were added to the painting for the same reason as the distant boat. I always like to add birds to my landscapes. It not only gives life to a painting but adds movement to the eye flow.
Painting the letters and numbers on the side of the boat was a bit of a challenge. This particular painting panel has no tooth and so it can be difficult to paint fine detail. All is good though because it adds an air of painterly quality to the piece. I’m happy with it.
Thanks for stopping by. If you have any thoughts I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time;
With Fall around the corner, the garden is winding down. All veggies are in ripen mode and I am harvesting tomatoes like crazy. I thought I’d share my Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe if you are looking for something new to do with all those fresh-picked tomatoes you have from your garden! One can only eat so much salad, right?
You can use fresh tomatoes from your local farmer’s market if you aren’t growing your own. I prefer Roma tomatoes because they have fewer seeds and a little more pulp. But as you can see, I also use regular tomatoes for their juice.
Here are the ingredients for the roasted tomato sauce recipe:
- 1 lb. Fresh Tomatoes (or more, depending on how much sauce you want to make)
- 1 or 2 large onions (2 if you’re going big)
- 1 to 2 heads of garlic (separate cloves and use all)
- 4 to 6 tblsp. of Virgin Olive oil
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
- 1 tsp. crushed dry Basil
- 1 to 2 tsp. sugar
Here’s what you do:
Slice all tomatoes into halves and place them in a roasting pan with the skin sides up in one layer. Cut the onion into quarters and add to the pan. Next, separate your garlic into cloves and slightly mash, then add to the roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil over all ingredients then add the salt, pepper, basil, and sugar. (Adjust oil and seasonings accordingly if you are making a bigger batch than mine.)
Now get your hands in there and mix up all the tomatoes, onion, garlic, etc. so that everything is nicely coated in the olive oil and spices. What a mess, but so much fun! Your pan will look like this:
Now you are ready to roast the tomatoes:
Pop your pan into a preheated 350-degree oven and roast for 45 minutes or until the skins begin to blacken. Be careful when you open the oven door at the end of roasting because a bit of smoke may come out. Your kitchen will smell like heaven! This is what the roasted tomatoes look like when finished roasting:
Allow the pan of tomatoes to cool a bit until able to safely handle. You can then pour all the ingredients into a pot and use an immersion blender to blend everything into a sauce. Or if you don’t have an immersion blender, place the roasted ingredients into a high capacity upright blender to make your sauce. I use my Vitamix because it makes quick work of the blending process, chopping all the tomato seeds, onions, and garlic into a thick sauce.
Use the roasted tomato sauce immediately or save for later:
If you are planning on using your sauce immediately, adjust seasonings to taste and if it’s too thick, add a bit of water or your favorite red wine. At this point, you can also add in other spices like oregano, allspice and more basil. Cook the sauce on the stovetop for 20 minutes to incorporate your additions, then pour over your favorite cooked pasta. For pizza sauce, do not add any other liquid.
You can also pour the sauce into prepared canning jars and can according to your favorite method. Or if you don’t like to can, like me, allow the sauce jars to come to room temperature and then freeze. Just remember to leave enough headroom in the jar, so the jars won’t crack in the freezer. The roasted tomato sauce freezes very well, in fact, I still have jars of frozen sauce from last year’s harvest.
“Canned Tomatoes” oil painting:
Last year, as an homage to my tomato harvest I painted this painting of canned whole tomatoes. The painting hangs in my kitchen.
The “Canned Tomatoes” oil painting was inspired by the hot jars sitting on the counter after I had used a water bath canning method, which I no longer use. I don’t care for the added acidity that citric acid creates when canning. So now I just freeze my jars and all is good!
A few blog posts ago I shared a recipe for tomato salsa. Did you make salsa? If you did, let me know how it turned out in the comments below.
I’m looking forward to Fall and doing some Plein air paintings of the beautiful trees in all their glory. In the meantime, I’ve been working on some previous paintings and trying to wrap things up so I can paint something new!
Until we meet again ~ Much Love
Enter to win an original oil painting! Click HERE.
Today I am sharing with you, a recently completed pet portrait oil painting for one of my collectors. My collector is a cat lover and she commissioned me to paint a small portrait of her beloved pet, named Zedd. Zedd is 14 yrs. old and he is a Tabby cat.
“Zedd” is painted in oil on a 4″x4″x2″ gallery wrapped box canvas. I’m very pleased with the results of all the work that went into creating this pet portrait, as is the collector. She can’t wait to receive her painting! Currently, the piece is drying and awaiting the final coat of varnish.
The side view of the painting of Zedd shows how the piece can be displayed without a frame since the sides of the canvas are painted black. The back of the painting is finished with wood and has a hole for hanging.
Decorating with Art:
The pet portrait of Zedd will be hung on my collector’s gallery wall. You can see how she cleverly displays her collection of cat imagery. She has illustrations, photos, paintings and even a sculpture on this gallery wall which looks great.
Previous Commissioned Paintings:
The above image of a painting commissioned by my collector, entitled “The Cat is Really Bad at Taking Selfies”, is also painted on a 4″x4″x2″ gallery wrapped box canvas. My collector will hang her new painting of “Zed” next to this one, and give the impression, the two cats are looking at one another.
Below is another of my collector’s commissioned paintings of Shota, her dearly departed cat. Shota’s portrait was painted in oils on an 8″x10″ canvas panel. Her eyes were the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen on a cat! She was so beautiful.
And lastly is another oil painting commissioned by my collector of Zed looking out the window, entitled “I Wish”, as he looked out the window at the birds flying by. I titled it “I Wish” thinking he wished he could go outside and catch the birds flying by! But he is an indoor cat and it was in the middle of winter, so he just had to wish!
I enjoy painting animals because I love them, and have owned many pets in my lifetime; from fish to birds, to cats and dogs, even chickens! It is my pleasure to immortalize my collector’s cat in an oil painting that will last a lifetime. I know she will enjoy it as much as I did painting it.
If you are a collector, meaning you have purchased a painting/s from me, and you would like me to paint a commissioned piece, please click on the “Commissions” tab in the “Important Info“ tab above, for more info.
Until we meet again, much Love! ~ Rhonda
A few weekends ago I had a great time Plein Air painting on the Lake. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. The wind was non-existent even though it was cloudy with the threat of rain. The fish weren’t biting so we decided to beach the boat and set up camp for the day.
The Plan for the Day;
The plan was for me to paint Plein air and the husband to fish from the shore. We were going to have lunch first, but there were yellow jackets everywhere! For those who live in the forest, you know what I’m referring to. For those who don’t, you are lucky. These nasty buggers look like a bee and sting like a bee, but they are a type of wasp that eats meat. Whaaaat? Yes, that’s right. They will fight you for your food, and around this time of year, they get aggressive. I’ve been stung on the toe before and let me tell you… that’s no fun!
Anyway, the husband decided to make a small campfire to smoke out the yellow jackets until they found the yellow jacket trap he hung in a tree. Before we could light the campfire though we had to clean out the fire-pit of the previous campers TRASH. Folks leaving behind trash in a fire-pit is becoming more and more prevalent and it really makes me upset. It’s just plain rude! We burned the trash, but as we all know, aluminum cans and tin foil don’t burn. We had to bag up the remnants of their trash and dispose of it at home.
I decided to leave a message for the next campers who would use this campsite, by painting a message on a large rock and leaving it on the picnic table. Since I didn’t have any poster board on hand, a rock was the logical solution for a sign. “Pack it in, Pack it out” signs are typically in every campground, but these are primitive sites along the shoreline, and have no signage.
I figured since painting on rocks has become so popular I’d paint a message instead of an illustration. I love the forest, nature, and camping and it just isn’t nice to have to clean up after someone before being able to enjoy a site. So please, if you are a camper, pack it in and pack it out…camp is not the dump!
Painting under the umbrella was not so great.
After lunch, I set up my gear and studied the landscape. There weren’t any boats around, and the mountains were kind of misty from all the humidity in the air. The overall scene was kind of ugly, so I settled on painting our boat.
The sky was growing darker and I wondered if I would have to run for cover like a previous time when I painted Plein air. This time I brought an umbrella so if it started to rain it would be okay. Problem solved! Well not quite. You see, the umbrella blocked out much of the light, and the little light clipped to my pochade box wasn’t bright enough to solve the problem. Oh well. I’d rather have less light than rain running down my painting.
I love my mini pochade box!
I brought the “baby box” on this outing and even though I love the compact size, the palette isn’t large enough. Here’s a shot after I had laid in all the base colors and had scraped the palette to put out fresh paint. Given that I couldn’t really see what I was doing, I’m really happy with how things turned out.
Here’s the work in progress. It will be finished in the studio. I might add a boat or two in the distance, and some houses on the shore, just for interest. I’m pretty satisfied with the loose painterly style of the mountains and the sky, so those won’t be worked any further. I need to add the details on the boat and highlights on the water.
All in all, despite the weather, we had a fabulous day. I thoroughly enjoyed the solitude while painting Plein air at the lake. The yellow jackets hovered around the trap instead of being attracted to the oil paint. The husband caught six fish, albeit small. But as I like to say, a fish is a fish, no matter the size. We left the campground better than we found it, and it didn’t rain!
Until next time ~ much love, Rhonda
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The end of Summer is upon us as Fall gently unfolds. Crisp mornings and shorter evenings say Summer is almost over. Summer has been wonderful this year because the temperatures haven’t been too extreme. There were only 6 or 7 days of temperatures in the high 80’s, barely breaking 90. We were blessed with more rain than normal too, which kept the wildfire season to a minimum.
Vegetable Gardening has been challenging!
The veggie garden has had a bit of trouble with the up and down temperatures, but luckily, my tomatoes in the greenhouse produced a decent crop and are ripening quickly. The green peppers suffered a bit and didn’t grow as big as in the past, and the same with the onions and garlic. I’ve been busy processing herbs and making spaghetti sauces and tomato salsa, with this year’s bounty.
Here’s my recipe for salsa:
2 Cups diced tomatoes, 1 cup diced bell pepper, 1 cup diced onion, 6 cloves diced garlic, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. sea salt, pepper to taste, 1 tbsp. Lime juice.
I like to use Roma tomatoes since they have fewer seeds and a more vibrant taste, but you can use whatever tomato variety you like. I used green bell pepper, but you can use red or yellow if you prefer. Also, if you like spicy foods, add in 1/4 tsp. of chopped fresh jalapeno pepper with seeds. I don’t care for spicy food, so I omit the jalapeno pepper. Optional, 1 to 2 tbsp. of chopped fresh Cilantro.
Dice the onion, garlic and green pepper and add to a stockpot with 1/2 tsp. salt.
Sweat the onions, garlic and green pepper on the stovetop until just barely transparent. Add chopped tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients. Cook gently over medium heat for five minutes stirring once or twice to incorporate all ingredients. You aren’t making spaghetti sauce, so you want to be sure to stir gently so the tomato holds shape and doesn’t liquify. Taste to adjust seasoning if necessary, then remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature then place salsa into canning jars, or storage containers. Store in the refrigerator and the Salsa will keep for a week. Serve with tortilla chips, or put on tacos, and even over eggs.
It’s so satisfying to grow your own food and make dishes with fresh ingredients that you know haven’t any pesticides in them.
The potatoes should be ready to harvest in another few weeks. This year I planted Yukon Gold, Russet and Red potatoes for the first time. I’m hopeful all went well and we will have an abundant crop. The Butternut and Acorn squashes are beginning to ripen and I am looking forward to making my favorite squash recipe for dinner. I’ll share that later.
I hope you have had a wonderful summer! Did you plant a garden or have a fabulous adventure this Summer? Are you sad to see the end of Summer or are you looking forward to Fall? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Next post, I’ll share my latest Plein air adventure.
Until then ~ much love, Rhonda